• Screening for Metabolic Syndrome

    The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are usually administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions. Identifying and treating these underlying conditions that make up metabolic syndrome can reduce your risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

    Screening Guidelines for Central Obesity

    When you have a physical exam, your doctor can measure your waist circumference.

    Screening Guidelines for Blood Pressure

    All adults should have their blood pressure checked during physical exams. If blood pressure is under 120/80 mm Hg, it can be rechecked in two years. For people with systolic blood pressure of 120-139 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure of 80-90 mm Hg, rechecks are recommended every year.

    Screening Guidelines for Cholesterol

    A fasting lipid panel analyzes total cholesterol, as well as LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels in the blood. Every adult 20 years and older should be tested. If your test results show a high risk for coronary heart disease, it is recommented that you get it rechecked within one year.
    In people with less or no risk, retesting may only need to be done every 2-5 years.

    Screening Guidelines for Blood Glucose

    Glucose tests check your blood sugar levels to make sure they are within normal range. Glucose tests are used for screening and diagnosing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
    The American Diabetes Association recommends screening in adults 45 years and older, every three years as long as the test result is within normal range.
    People who are overweight or obese should be tested regardless of age if one or more of the following factors are present:
    • Physical inactivity
    • Family history
    • African American, Native American, Latino, Asian American, or Pacific Islander ethnicity
    • History of gestational diabetes or birth of baby weighing over 9 pounds
    • Blood pressure at or above 140/90 mm Hg
    • HDL cholesterol under 35 mg/dL or triglycerides over 250 mg/dL
    • Women with polycystic ovary syndrome
    • Previous glucose testing indicating higher than normal results
    • History of cardiovascular disease
    People with prediabetes should be tested every year.


    American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes 2013. Diabetes Care. 2013;36 Suppl 1:S11-S66.

    Diabetes mellitus type 2 screening. http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated February 4, 2013. Accessed February 25, 2013.

    Hypertension. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated February 14, 2013. Accessed February 25, 2013.

    NCEP ATP III guidelines. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Accessed February 25, 2013.

    Obesity in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated February 1, 2013. Accessed February 25, 2013.

    Rosenzweig JL, Ferrannini E, Grundy SM, et al. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in patients at metabolic risk: an endocrine society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008; 93:3671-3689

    Steinberger J, Daniels SR, Eckel RH, et al. AHA scientifc statement: progress and challenges in metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents. Circulation 2009; 119:628-647.

    Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III): Executive Summary. National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol/atp3xsum.pdf. Accessed February 25, 2013.

    US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for high blood pressure: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reaffirmation recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2007;147(11):783-786.

    Revision Information

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