The two most important risk factors for metabolic syndrome are extra weight around the middle and upper parts of the body (central obesity). This is when the body may be described as "apple-shaped”, as well as insulin resistance, in which the body cannot use insulin effectively. Other risk factors include: aging, genes that make you more likely to develop this condition, hormone changes and lack of exercise.
The International Diabetes Federation and the revised National Cholesterol Education Program have recently set out a couple of sets of defining criteria for metabolic syndrome. These are very similar and they identify individuals with a given set of symptoms as having metabolic syndrome.
International Diabetes Federation The IDF consensus worldwide definition of the metabolic syndrome (2006)
Central obesity (defined as waist circumference# with ethnicity specific values)
AND any two of the following: * Raised triglycerides: > 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L), or specific treatment for this lipid abnormality. * Reduced HDL cholesterol: < 40 mg/dL (1.03 mmol/L) in males, < 50 mg/dL (1.29 mmol/L) in females, or specific treatment for this lipid abnormality * Raised blood pressure: systolic BP > 130 or diastolic BP >85 mm Hg, or treatment of previously diagnosed hypertension. * Raised fasting plasma glucose :(FPG)>100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L), or previously diagnosed type 2 diabetes. If FPG >5.6 mmol/L or 100 mg/dL, OGTT Glucose tolerance test is strongly recommended but is not necessary to define presence of the Syndrome.
# If BMI is >30 kg/m², central obesity can be assumed and waist circumference does not need to be measured
The World Health Organization criteria