Metabolic syndrome is defined as the presence of any three of the following conditions:

  • waist measurement of 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women
  • triglyceride levels of 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or above, or taking medication for elevated triglyceride levels
  • HDL, or “good,” cholesterol level below 40 mg/dL for men and below 50 mg/dL for women, or taking medication for low HDL levels
  • blood pressure levels of 130/85 or above, or taking medication for elevated blood pressure levels
  • fasting blood glucose levels of 100 mg/dL or above, or taking medication for elevated blood glucose levels

Source: Grundy SM, et al. Diagnosis and management of the metabolic syndrome: an American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute scientific statement. Circulation. 2005;112:2735–2752.

Similar definitions have been developed by the World Health Organization and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.