Metabolic syndrome is a set of 5 health factors that can lead to serious health problems. The factors greatly increase your risk for diabetes, heart attack, or stroke. These conditions reflect overall resistance to the effects of insulin and increased inflammation all over your body.
What is metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome means you have 3 or more of these 5 health factors:
- Extra weight with a large waist. Being overweight or obese means that you weigh too much for what is healthy for your height. A large waist size is 40 inches or more for men, 35 inches or more for women.
- High blood pressure (hypertension). Blood pressure is the force of blood against the inside of your blood vessels as your heart pumps. High blood pressure is a measurement of 130/80 mmHg or higher. This makes your heart work harder. And it may damage your blood vessels.
- High triglyceride level. Triglycerides are fats in the blood. A high triglyceride level is 150 mg/dL or more. If your level is high, you may have increased fatty deposits on the walls of your blood vessels.
- Low HDL cholesterol. HDL is known as “good” cholesterol. It protects your blood vessels from harmful LDL cholesterol. Low HDL cholesterol means less than 40 mg/dL for men or 50 mg/dL for women. If your level is low, your blood vessels are not as protected.
- High blood sugar (glucose). This means you have too much glucose in your blood. This happens when your body can’t break down glucose as it should. Too much fasting glucose is 100 mg/dL or more. The extra glucose in the blood can damage the blood vessels.
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