This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) in Turkish elderly. All data were collected in a cross-sectional based survey on 266 elderly aged above 65 years living in capital city of Turkey, Ankara. MS was defined according to National Cholesterol Education Program: Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) criteria. In the total sample of participants, the 61.7% (n = 164) of the group has been diagnosed as MS. High blood pressure (BP) and waist circumference (WC) and low high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) were the criteria of MS with highest prevalence in both gender. In addition female participants have higher systolic blood pressure (93.4%) and WC (79.1%) and lower HDL-C (69.2%) than the men (74.4%, 31.1% and 52.2% respectively). Weight correlated significantly with triglyceride (TG) and MS (p < 0.001). WC was the anthropometric variable which had the highest correlation with the MS (r = 0.338, p < 0.001). Our study indicates that MS is highly prevalent in the elderly people particularly among women. Our findings may be helpful in formulating public health policies and prevention strategies focus on elderly population. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.