Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is defined as the presence of three or more of the following health conditions:

  • Increased abdominal girth – also known as a beer belly or "apple" shape. A waist measurement of 35 inches or more for women or 40 inches or more for men is a considered a risk factor for metabolic syndrome.
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Elevated triglycerides – a type of fat in your blood
  • Elevated blood sugar
  • Low HDL – good cholesterol

The more of these conditions you have, the more at risk you are for heart attack, stroke, heart failure and diabetes. About 80 percent of people who have metabolic syndrome have it as a genetic inheritance. Of the 20 percent who did not inherit metabolic syndrome, the disorder is almost all lifestyle induced. The good news is you can significantly decrease your risk through lifestyle changes. 

Metabolic Syndrome and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

There is also an association between metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), as patients with NAFLD tend to also have one or more features of metabolic syndrome. Because of similar lifestyles and genetics, those with a family history of NAFLD may be at higher risk for developing the disease.

Metabolic Fitness Program at Michigan Medicine

The University of Michigan Metabolic Fitness Program is focused on helping you reverse your metabolic syndrome through support for these lifestyle changes. Our program combines exercise, nutrition, stress management and strategies for behavior change in a supportive group atmosphere. The program requires physician referral. Visit the Frequently Asked Questions: Metabolic Fitness Program page to learn more.

Patient Resources

Make an Appointment

A physician referral is required for the Metabolic Fitness Program. To schedule an appointment, call us at 734-998-4991. To make an appointment regarding other cardiovascular-related conditions, contact our New Patient Coordination Center representatives at 888-287-1082 or visit our Make an Appointment page for more information.