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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Metabolic Syndrome X

Some controversy exists regarding a definition of metabolic syndrome. A new definition from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), released in April 2005, requires diagnostic criteria of obesity in the midsection of the body and two of the following conditions: high triglycerides, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, or elevated blood glucose levels during a fasting state. Insulin resistance is not included as a factor. In June 2007, the IDF published a definition of metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents. Review the resources listed below for further information.

Internet Resources

American Heart Association
This site, maintained by the American Heart Association, offers complete information on metabolic syndrome, explains the many factors that contribute to the condition, and outlines steps that can be taken to improve overall heart health.

International Diabetes Federation
A nongovernmental organization affiliated with the United Nations and the Pan-American Health Organization, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is a global advocate for diabetics and their families and caregivers.In June 2007, IDF released a document defining metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents, which can be found by performing a search from the organization’s home page.

MedlinePlus: Metabolic Syndrome X
Developed by the National Library of Medicine specifically for consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information for the lay public. This site explains metabolic syndrome, as well as its symptoms, risks and what can be done to prevent or reverse the condition.


  • “Metabolic syndrome and mental illness.” Harvard Mental Health Letter. 28(2):5 Aug. 2011
  • “Can I reverse or slow the progression of metabolic syndrome through diet?” Duke Medicine HealthNews, 17(5):8. May 2011
  • “What is metabolic syndrome and how can it affect my heart health?” Duke Medicine HealthNews, 16(10):8. Oct. 2010.
  • “The physical activity, stress and metabolic syndrome triangle.” Holmes ME. Obesity Reviews, 11(7):492-507. July 2010.


  • Diabetes & Heart Disease. 12 min.
  • Diabetes & Nutrition: Eating for Health. 10 min.
  • Diabetes & Weight Control: Change for a Lifetime. 13 min.
  • Heart Disease: Are You at Risk? 10 min.
  • How to Monitor Your Blood Pressure. 11 min.
  • Monitoring Your Blood Sugar: Key Concepts. 30 min.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Alberto Culver Health Learning Center at 312.926.5465, or e-mail us at HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateOctober 29, 2012