We conducted a two-stage genome-wide association study to identify common genetic variation altering risk of the metabolic syndrome and related phenotypes in Indian Asian men, who have a high prevalence of these conditions. In Stage 1, approximately 317,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms were genotyped in 2700 individuals, from which 1500 SNPs were selected to be genotyped in a further 2300 individuals. Selection for inclusion in Stage 1 was based on four metabolic syndrome component traits: HDL-cholesterol, plasma glucose and Type 2 diabetes, abdominal obesity measured by waist to hip ratio, and diastolic blood pressure. Association was tested with these four traits and a composite metabolic syndrome phenotype. Four SNPs reaching significance level p<5x10(-7) and with posterior probability of association >0.8 were found in genes CETP and LPL, associated with HDL-cholesterol. These associations have already been reported in Indian Asians and in Europeans. Five additional loci harboured SNPs significant at p<10(-6) and posterior probability >0.5 for HDL-cholesterol, type 2 diabetes or diastolic blood pressure. Our results suggest that the primary genetic determinants of metabolic syndrome are the same in Indian Asians as in other populations, despite the higher prevalence. Further, we found little evidence of a common genetic basis for metabolic syndrome traits in our sample of Indian Asian men.