Metabolic syndrome is collection of medical conditions that raise your risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. A recent Cleveland Clinic study, however, found that having metabolic syndrome significantly raises the risk of developing kidney disease, too. The study was published in the August online issue of Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology. Patients are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome when they exhibit three or more of the following characteristics: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat in the waist/abdomen, low good cholesterol, and higher levels of fatty acids (the building blocks of fat). In the study, led by Cleveland Clinic nephrology and hypertension expert Sankar Navaneethan, MD, researchers found that people with metabolic syndrome have a 55 percent higher risk of developing kidney problems, especially in the lower kidney, which is characteristic of kidney disease.