People with metabolic syndrome are at increased risk of:

Metabolic syndrome is believed to be due to a combination of:

  • Genetic factors, which you inherit from your family
  • Environmental factors such as diet and physical activity level

The more risk factors you have for metabolic syndrome, the greater your likelihood of developing it. The risk of having metabolic syndrome also increases with age. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

Examples of these risk factors include:

  • Ethnicity—Mexican American women, Caucasians, and African Americans have a higher risk.
  • Obesity—You are more likely to develop many of the underlying conditions of metabolic syndrome if you are overweight, especially if that extra weight is around your waist or if your obesity began at a young age.
  • Having disorders or conditions associated with metabolic disorder such as:
    • Type 2 or gestational diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • Cholesterol problems
    • Coronary artery disease—A heart condition where the arteries that supply blood to the heart narrow, increasing the chances of a heart attack.
    • Polycystic ovary syndrome—A hormonal disorder that occurs when a woman produces an excess of male hormones.
  • Genetics
  • Physical inactivity
  • Poor diet—Eating a diet high in calories, sugar, saturated fats, and starchy foods and eating a diet low in dietary fiber increases your risk.
  • Unhealthy habits, such as smoking
  • Certain medications, such as atypical antipsychotics

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