Metabolic Syndrome Diagnosis
If you have any risk factors for metabolic syndrome, your healthcare provider will do blood tests to screen for this condition. They may screen for the conditions that make up metabolic syndrome during a routine checkup. Your provider may also measure your waist size, weight, and blood pressure.
Your provider will diagnose metabolic syndrome based on your medical and family history, a physical exam, and diagnostic tests. They may also order heart tests to see how well your heart is working. This will help your provider find out whether you have complications from metabolic syndrome.
Medical history and physical exam
To diagnose metabolic syndrome, your provider will ask whether you or others in your family have any symptoms or risk factors. They may also ask you about your diet and whether you exercise regularly.
During your physical exam, your provider will measure your waist. You may have abdominal obesity, one of the conditions of metabolic syndrome, if your waist measures more than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women. Your provider may use different measurement values for diagnosis, depending on your race and ethnicity.
Diagnostic tests and procedures
To diagnose metabolic syndrome, your provider will check your blood pressure and do blood tests to measure your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
- For most adults, a healthy blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury — the units used to measure blood pressure).
- You may have high blood pressure, one of the conditions of metabolic syndrome, if your blood pressure is consistently 130/85 mmHg or higher.
- A healthy blood sugar level for adults after 8 to 12 hours of fasting (not eating) is between 70 and 99 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter — the units used to measure blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol).
- If your fasting blood sugar level is between 100–125 mg/dL, you have high blood sugar levels or prediabetes.
- If your fasting blood sugar level is 126 mg/dL or higher, you may have diabetes, a condition of metabolic syndrome. Also, you may have metabolic syndrome if you are taking medicines to treat high blood sugar or diabetes.
- HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, levels of 60 mg/dL and above can help lower your risk of heart disease.
- You may have high blood cholesterol, one of the conditions of metabolic syndrome, if your HDL cholesterol levels are lower than 50 mg/dL for women and lower than 40 mg/dL for men.
- Healthy blood triglyceride levels are less than 150 mg/dL for adults.
- You may have high blood triglycerides, one of the conditions of metabolic syndrome, if your triglyceride levels are consistently more than 150 mg/dL.
Children who have metabolic syndrome can also have these conditions. Your child’s provider will determine the measures and cutoff numbers for your child.