Table 1

Criteria for clinical diagnosis of the metabolic syndrome10

MeasureCategorical cut points
Elevated waist circumference*Population-specific and country-specific definitions
Elevated triglycerides
(drug treatment for elevated triglycerides in an alternative indicator†)
≥150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L)
Reduced HDL-C
(drug treatment for reduced HDL-C is an alternate indicator†)
<40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L) in males;
<50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) in females
Elevated blood pressure
(antihypertensive drug treatment in a patient with a history of hypertension is an alternate indicator)
Systolic ≥130 mm Hg and/or diastolic ≥85 mm Hg
Elevated fasting glucose‡ (drug treatment of elevated glucose is an alternate indicator)≥100 mg/dL (≥5.6 mmol/L)
  • Table 1 reproduced with permission from Wolters Kluwer Health, taken from Alberti. International Diabetes Federation Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention; National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; American Heart Association; World Heart Federation; International Atherosclerosis Society; International Association for the Study of Obesity: Harmonising the metabolic syndrome: a joint interim statement of the International Diabetes Federation Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention. Circulation 2009;120:1640–5. Can be accessed at–2003&

  • *It is recommended that the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) cut points be used for non-Europeans and either the IDF or American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (AHA/NHLBI) cut points used for people of European origin until more data are available.

  • †The most commonly used drugs for elevated triglycerides and reduced HDL-C are fibrates and nicotinic acid. A patient taking one of these drugs can be presumed to have high triglycerides and low HDL-C. High-dose-3 fatty acid presumes high triglycerides.

  • ‡Most patients with type two diabetes mellitus will have the metabolic syndrome by the proposed criteria.

  • HDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.