A risk factor makes the chances of getting a disease or condition higher. You can have metabolic syndrome with or without them. But, the more you have, the higher the risk.

Some can’t be changed such as your age. Metabolic syndrome is more common in people aged 60 years and older.

Your chances of metabolic syndrome are higher for:

  • Ethnic background such as in Mexican American women
  • Obesity —this is mainly true if the weight is around your belly
  • Getting little or no exercise
  • Making poor food choices such as eating more sugar, fats, and calories
  • Smoking
  • Excess alcohol intake
  • Certain medicines such as those to treat mental health problems

Metabolic syndrome. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/nutritional-disorders/obesity-and-the-metabolic-syndrome/metabolic-syndrome. Updated December 2016. August 27, 2018.

Metabolic syndrome. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/metabolic-syndrome. Accessed August 27, 2018.

Metabolic syndrome in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T113812/Metabolic-syndrome-in-adults. Updated March 29, 2018. Accessed August 27, 2018.

Your risk of metabolic syndrome. American Heart Association website. Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/metabolic-syndrome/prevention-and-treatment-of-metabolic-syndrome. Accessed August 27, 2018.

Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD  Last Updated: 8/27/2018