As part of the Hypertension Genetic Epidemiology Network study, genome scans were performed in two ethnicities on the categorical metabolic syndrome (MetS). Genome scans were performed also on the factor scores produced by factor analysis (quantitative MetS). Heritabilities were highest for the obesity-insulin (INS) factor and lowest for blood pressure (BP) and central obesity. Seventeen unique putative quantitative trait loci (QTLs) yielded logarithm of the odds ratio (LOD) scores in excess of 1.7, 8 for blacks and 9 for whites. Important QTL findings in whites included an LOD score of 3.19 on chromosome 15q15 for the BP factor, 3.08 on chromosome 8p23 for the lipids-INS factor, and 3.07 on chromosome 3p26 for the obesity-INS factor. In blacks, after excluding type 2 diabetics, important QTLs were identified, including an LOD score of 2.77 on 13p12 for the obesity-INS factor and 2.63 on chromosome 11q24 for the lipids-INS factor. Categorical MetS had lower results than quantitative MetS. Notably, several loci identified overlap with those identified in other studies for a single or group of traits. The most promising candidate loci on 11q24 for lipids-INS and 13p12 for obesity-INS in blacks, 8p23 for lipids-INS, 14q24 for obesity-INS, and 15q15 for BP in whites warrant further investigation. Copyright © 2005 NAASO.