Metabolic syndrome is a clustering of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The Expert Panel on the Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment on High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III) defines the syndrome as three or more of the following criteria:
2. Hypertriglyceridemia: >150 mg/dl;
3. Decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol: <40 mg/dl in men and <50 mg/dl in women;
4. High blood pressure: >130/85 mm Hg;
5. High fasting glucose: >110 mg/dL.
Obesity is a component of metabolic syndrome, but it is not absolutely required to make the diagnosis if other criteria are present. Diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is important to alert the clinician of increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of US adults having the metabolic syndrome is 22%, and it is even more common among high risk groups such as women with polycystic ovary syndrome with about a third of women affected.
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