What are the IDF diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome?

Updated: Jul 08, 2020
  • Author: Samuel T Olatunbosun, MD, FACP, FACE; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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In a global consensus statement, an International Diabetes Federation (IDF) panel presented a worldwide definition of the metabolic syndrome aimed at facilitating early detection and more intensive management of the condition, with the hope of reducing the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes.

According to the definition by the IDF panel, the diagnostic criteria for the metabolic syndrome include central obesity (defined as waist circumference ≥94 cm in men or ≥80 cm in women in Europid persons and in ethnic-specific levels in Chinese, Japanese, and South Asian persons) together with two of the following:

  • Triglyceride level of 1.7 mmol/L (150 mg/dL) or higher

  • Low HDL-C level (defined as < 1.04 mmol/L [40 mg/dL] in men or < 1.29 mmol/L [50 mg/dL] in women)

  • Blood pressure of 130/85 mm Hg or higher

  • Fasting hyperglycemia (defined as glucose level ≥5.6 mmol/L [100 mg/dL]) or previous diagnosis of diabetes or IGT.

The scientific basis for the definition of the metabolic syndrome and its clinical utility have been debated. [50, 51, 52] The debate was accentuated by a joint statement from the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. [8]

Both sides of the debate, however, generally agree that the risk factors commonly coexist in the same patient and that insulin resistance is the major underlying mechanism. Moreover, the metabolic syndrome serves as a clinical tool to raise awareness among health care providers, thus assisting in identifying high-risk individuals.

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