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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Metabolic Syndrome

The metabolic syndrome is a collection of metabolic risk factors that naturally cluster and predict the future development of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Although the metabolic syndrome is not a disease, it is important to emphasize that treatment is directed at both its root causes and the individual metabolic risk factors. The root causes, prevalent in our society, include poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and progressive weight gain, especially weight around the middle section of the abdomen.   Improved life habits that lead to reducing excess weight improve all the metabolic risk factors of the metabolic syndrome.

The metabolic syndrome is defined as the presence of three or more metabolic risk factors:

  • A waist circumference of 40 or more inches in men; 35 or more inches in women*
  • HDL cholesterol of less than 40 in men; less than 50 in women**
  • Triglyceride levels of 150 or greater**
  • Blood pressure of 130/85 or greater**
  • Blood sugar of 100 or greater**

*These represent the norms for those of European descent; cutoffs may be lower in other ethnic groups.

**Or currently receiving treatment for this level of metabolic risk factor.


For more information regarding metabolic syndrome and the treatments available, contact the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at 1-866-662-8467, call the Lipid Disorders/Metabolic Syndrome Clinic at 312-695-2714 or request a first time appointment online.

Last UpdateDecember 16, 2013

Referrals &

To obtain a referral or schedule
an appointment:

Northwestern Memorial:

Northwestern Lake Forest:
847-LF-HEART (534-3278)

Northwestern Grayslake:
847-LF-HEART (534-3278)

Glenview Outpatient Center:

847-724-GLEN (4536)