Visceral obesity and metabolic syndrome: two faces of the same medal?
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- Scaglione, R., Di Chiara, T., Cariello, T. et al. Intern Emerg Med (2010) 5: 111. doi:10.1007/s11739-009-0332-6
In this review, we have analyzed the role of visceral obesity in the occurrence of metabolic syndrome (MetS). MetS is a common metabolic disorder that has been related recently to the increasing prevalence of obesity. The disorder is defined in various ways, but in the near future a new definition(s) should be applicable worldwide. The pathophysiology has been largely attributed, in the past years, to insulin resistance, although several epidemiological and pathophysiological data now indicate visceral obesity as a main factor in the occurrence of all the components of MetS. In view of this, relationships among visceral obesity, free fatty acids, dyslipidemia and insulin resistance have been reported. In addition, the effects of some adipocytokines and other proinflammatory factors produced by fat accumulation on the occurrence of MetS have been also emphasized. Accordingly, the “hypoadiponectinemia hypothesis” has been proposed as the most interesting to explain the pathophysiology of MetS. The epidemiologic, pathophysiologic and clinical data reported seem to indicate that MetS might be considered a fatal consequence of visceral obesity.