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This blog was created by our partners at KnovaSolutions.

Metabolic Syndrome, also known as Metabolic Syndrome X or Insulin Resistance Syndrome, is a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Having three or more of the following health conditions can put you at risk for MetS:

  • An increased amount of fat around your waist or midsection
  • High blood pressure
  • High triglyceride levels
  • Low HDL (good) cholesterol level
  • High fasting blood sugar level

Associated Health Issues

MetS is commonly associated with heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Early stages of MetS and diabetes are often found in individuals with excess fat around the waist and midsection. This fat can release chemicals and hormones that affect cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.

Risk Factors for Developing MetS

Certain lifestyle habits and other risk factors can increase the risk of developing MetS.

Lifestyle Factors:

  • Poor diet habits: High-fat, ultra-processed foods, and large portion sizes
  • Lack of physical activity or sedentary lifestyle behaviors
  • Stress and elevated cortisol levels
  • Sleep disturbance, lack of sleep, or inadequate sleep or rest

Other Risk Factors:

  • Age: Risks increase as people get older.
  • Sex: In older adults, women have a higher risk than men.
  • Family History: Parents, brothers, or sisters with a health history of diabetes can increase your risk.
  • Race/Ethnicity: MetS is common in all racial groups but highest among Mexican Americans, followed by Whites and Blacks.
  • Other Health Issues: History of diabetes, insulin resistance, immune disorders, inflammation, cancer treatments, sleep apnea, and certain medications that can lead to excess weight.

Treatment for MetS

Healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce the health risks related to MetS.

  • Follow a heart-healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly. Caution: Always check with a healthcare provider before starting an exercise routine, especially if you have a history of heart disease, breathing trouble, or lung disease.
  • Get the proper amount of sleep. Average adults require 7–9 hours of sleep.
  • Reduce stress through stress management .
  • Have routine physical exams with your doctor.

For more information on metabolic syndrome, email [email protected] or call 1-800-355-0885. We are available Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


  • Metabolic syndrome. National Institute of Health (NIH). National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus. Published January 2020. Accessed May 2023.
  • Metabolic Syndrome, What Is Metabolic Syndrome. National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute. Metabolic Syndrome, What Is Metabolic Syndrome. Published May 2022. Accessed May 2023.

KnovaSolutions®: Clinical Prevention Service

KnovaSolutions® is a clinical prevention service to help Alliance Health Plan members better understand and manage their medical care, treatments, and medications via telephone and email. The KnovaSolutions clinical team focuses on the member as a whole, not just the health complications they may be facing, by providing access to health information and support in making the best health decisions possible.

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