Main content

    Metabolic Syndrome

    What is metabolic syndrome?

    This is a condition that is estimated to affect close to half of all South Asians and appears to be the primary risk factor for heart disease and diabetes in this population. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of the various risk factors discussed on the Web site.
    Back to top

    What causes metabolic syndrome?

    Genetics, excess weight and a sedentary lifestyle are the three main causes of metabolic syndrome.
    Back to top

    How do I know if I have it?

    If you answer "yes" to three or more of the following questions, you should speak with your physician about metabolic syndrome:

    1. Central obesity: Is your waistline circumference greater than 40 inches if you are male or greater than 35 inches if you are female?

    2. Triglycerides: Is your triglyceride level greater than or equal to 150, or are you taking medications for high triglycerides?

    3. HDL (good cholesterol): Is your HDL level less than 40 if you are male or less than 50 if you are female?

    4. Blood pressure: Is your systolic blood pressure (top number) greater than or equal to 130 or your diastolic pressure (bottom number) greater than or equal to 85. Or, are you taking blood pressure medications?

    5. Fasting blood sugar: Is your fasting blood sugar level greater than or equal to 100 mg/dL?
    Back to top

    How is it treated?

    The good news is that regular exercise, a healthy diet and weight loss can reverse metabolic syndrome or prevent you from developing this deadly condition in the first place. In cases where lifestyle changes are not sufficient, medications may be indicated to treat the various components of metabolic syndrome.

    Find a Doctor

    If you are South Asian, speak with your personal physician about your specific risk factors for hyperlipidemia, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.

    If you are a new patient of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), use our Find Doctors database to find a doctor.
    Back to top

    Resources

    PAMF offers a variety of resources including health education classes and lectures, as well as Shared Medical Appointments (for PAMF patients) focused on specific health concerns. Learn more about support and resources at PAMF.

    Last reviewed: 2012
    Back to top