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Screening for Metabolic Syndrome
by Diane Safer, PhD
The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are usually administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions. Identifying and treating these underlying conditions that make up metabolic syndrome can reduce your risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Screening Guidelines for Central Obesity
When you have a physical exam, your doctor can measure your waist circumference.
Screening Guidelines for Blood Pressure
All adults should have their blood pressure checked during physical exams. If blood pressure is under 120/80 mm Hg, it can be rechecked in 2 years. For people with systolic blood pressure of 120-139 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure of 80-90 mm Hg, rechecks are recommended every year.
Screening Guidelines for Cholesterol TOP
A fasting lipid panel analyzes total cholesterol, as well as LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels in the blood. Every adult 20 years and older should be tested. If your test results show a high risk for coronary artery disease, it is recommended that you get it rechecked within one year.
In people with less or no risk, retesting may only need to be done every 2-5 years.
Screening Guidelines for Blood Glucose TOP
Glucose tests check your blood sugar levels to make sure they are within normal range. Glucose tests are used for screening and diagnosing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association recommends screening in adults 45 years and older, every 3 years as long as the test result is within normal range.
People who are overweight or obese should be tested regardless of age if one or more of the following factors are present:
People with prediabetes should be tested every year.
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Rosenzweig JL, Ferrannini E, Grundy SM, et al. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in patients at metabolic risk: an endocrine society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008;93(10):3671-2689
Steinberger J, Daniels SR, Eckel RH, et al. AHA scientific statement: progress and challenges in metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents. Circulation. 2009;119(4):628-647.
Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III): Executive Summary. National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed May 10, 2013.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for high blood pressure: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reaffirmation recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2007;147(11):783-786.
Last reviewed June 2016 by James Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 5/20/2015
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