Metabolic syndrome is increasing in prevalence, paralleling an increasing epidemic of obesity. In the United States, where almost two thirds of the population is overweight or obese, more than one fourth of the population meets diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome.  In the United States, data from a 1999-2000 survey showed that the age-adjusted prevalence of metabolic syndrome among adults aged 20 years or older had risen from 27% (data from 1988-1994) to 32%. 
Insulin resistance also may increase your risk for metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body can’t use its insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar into cells where it’s used for energy. Insulin resistance can lead to high blood sugar levels, and it’s closely linked to overweight and obesity. Genetics (ethnicity and family history) and older age are other factors that may play a role in causing metabolic syndrome.