Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Having just one of these conditions doesn’t mean you have metabolic syndrome. However, any of these conditions increase your risk of serious disease. Having more than one of these might increase your risk even more.
Most of the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome have no symptoms, although a large waist circumference is a visible sign. If your blood sugar is very high, you might have signs and symptoms of diabetes — including increased thirst and urination, fatigue, and blurred vision.
The following factors increase your chances of having metabolic syndrome:
- Age. Your risk of metabolic syndrome increases with age.
- Race. In the United States, Mexican-Americans appear to be at the greatest risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
- Obesity. Carrying too much weight, especially in your abdomen, increases your risk of metabolic syndrome.
- Diabetes. You’re more likely to have metabolic syndrome if you had diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) or if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes.
- Other diseases. Your risk of metabolic syndrome is higher if you’ve ever had cardiovascular disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or polycystic ovary syndrome.