Which physical findings are characteristic of metabolic syndrome?

Updated: Mar 29, 2017
  • Author: Stanley S Wang, JD, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Yasmine S Ali, MD, FACC, FACP, MSCI  more...
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Answer

The physical examination is crucial in patients with metabolic syndrome, as the findings of elevated blood pressure and abdominal obesity are 2 of the 5 diagnostic criteria. Measurement and documentation of waist circumference are important routines when screening for metabolic syndrome.

The examination may also reveal findings reflective of the other criteria. For example, patients with insulin resistance and hyperglycemia or with diabetes mellitus may have acanthosis nigricans, hirsutism, peripheral neuropathy, and retinopathy. Patients with severe dyslipidemia may have xanthomas or xanthelasmas. The presence of arterial bruits may portend a higher risk of cardiovascular complications.


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