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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Metabolic Syndrome. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Variation in Diagnostic Criteria

Metabolic syndrome may vary in definition and diagnostic criteria depending on the organization that is consulted. Health-related organizations that have developed diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome include:

  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)/American Heart Association (AHA)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)
  • International Diabetes Foundation (IDF)
  • European Group for Study of Insulin Resistance (EGIR)

Each organization's set of criteria is slightly different in its parameters and its details for diagnosis. All of the above organizations agree that defining glucose intolerance, obesity, hypertension, and dyslipidemia is important. However, there are varied opinions in how important each risk factor is in relation to the others.

Varied criteria to determine obesity is utilized: waist to hip ratio, BMI, and waist circumference. One organization does not include a measurement of obesity. Glucose intolerance is determined by measuring plasma insulin and/or glucose levels. Lack of standardization in insulin measurement and assay availability makes criteria using insulin levels impractical.