Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the chance of having coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Doctors are not sure whether the syndrome is due to one single cause, but all the risks are related to obesity.
The two most important risk factors for metabolic syndrome are:
- Extra weight around the middle and upper parts of the body (central obesity).
- Insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that helps control the amount of sugar in the blood. Insulin resistance means that some cells in the body use insulin less effectively than normal, causing blood sugar levels to rise, which causes insulin to rise. This may increase the amount of body fat.
Other risk factors include: lack of exercise, race, gender, aging, genes, and hormone changes. Learn how to keep these risk factors and others under control: