Risk Factors and Complications of Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is comparatively more common among certain group of people. There are certain risk factors for development of metabolic syndrome. Find below if you have any risk factors. If you have one or more risk factors for metabolic syndrome, it is best to be careful and take precaution at the earliest. The risk factors of metabolic syndrome are,

  • Obesity is an important risk factor for development of metabolic syndrome. Obese people have greater risk of metabolic syndrome, as well as many other health problems. The risk is higher if you have fats around your abdomen.
  • Diabetes patients have higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, especially for women diabetics who develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes). If you have family history of diabetes, you have high risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
  • Race: individuals of certain races tend have higher incidence of metabolic syndrome than others.
  • As your age increases the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, also increase.
  • Certain diseases, if you have, can increase risk of metabolic syndrome, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver, cardiovascular diseases, poly cystic ovary disease etc.

What are the complications of metabolic syndrome?

If you have metabolic syndrome, it may lead to complications, such as

  • Diabetes: insulin resistance is part of metabolic syndrome. Hence, the risk of developing diabetes is very high. However, aggressive lifestyle change may help in preventing or delaying development of diabetes, by reducing insulin resistance and controlling bod weight.
  • Cardiovascular disease is common in metabolic syndrome. Due to high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol and triglyceride level, blood vessels (arteries) may develop plaques, especially in heart, leading to development of cardiovascular disease.

Diagnosis of metabolic syndrome:

Various organizations have laid down their criteria for diagnosis of metabolic syndrome. National Institute of Health (NIH) laid down the following criteria. Presence of any three or more of the below mentioned traits is considered metabolic syndrome.

  1. High triglyceride level in blood: 150 mg/dl (mg per deciliter) or 1.7 mmol/l (millimoles per liter) of triglyceride or higher
  2. Waist circumference of 35 inches (89 centimeters) or more for women and 40 inches (102 centimeters) or more for men
  3. Reduced HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol (good cholesterol) of 40 mg/dl (1.04 mmol/l) or less for men and 50 mg/dl (1.3 mmol/l) or less in women.
  4. Fasting blood sugar of 100 mg/dl (5.6 mmol/l) or more
  5. Blood pressure of 130/90 mmHg or higher


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