Harvard Men's Health Watch

The metabolic syndrome: Diagnosis

Although it's only been recognized since 1988, this looming threat to America's health has already been known by several names — Syndrome X, the Insulin Resistance Syndrome, and the Deadly Quartet. Each name has some merit; the disorder has several components, is deadly, may depend largely on insulin, and is still somewhat mysterious. But as researchers have learned more, they've settled on a name that's less punchy but more accurate.

What is the metabolic syndrome, and what does it mean for your health?

The fearsome five

Although the metabolic syndrome was originally classified as a quartet of abnormalities, doctors have now identified five components. The table below displays the most widely accepted criteria for the diagnosis.

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