Current Atherosclerosis Reports

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 314-320

First online:

Diet and pharmacologic therapy of obesity to modify atherosclerosis

  • Peter H. JonesAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Section of Atherosclerosis and Lipid Research, Baylor College of Medicine

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More than half of the men and women in the United States are overweight or obese. Obesity is associated with an increased risk for various diseases, most notably, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, and coronary heart disease (CHD). The location of excessive body fat, particularly in the visceral area, has the strongest association with these factors that comprise the insulin resistance syndrome. A reduction in as little as 10% of baseline weight has been shown to improve the control of blood pressure and glucose, as well as to reduce triglycerides and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Therefore, obesity should be considered a predisposing CHD risk factor, and treatment with diet, exercise, and newer pharmacologic agents can help patients achieve and maintain desired weight-loss goals.