Clinical Autonomic Research

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 9–14

A sympathetic view of human obesity

  • Elisabeth A. Lambert
  • Nora E. Straznicky
  • Gavin W. Lambert
Review Article


Excess adiposity is associated with increased incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Importantly, CVD mortality associated with obesity is more prevalent in young individuals. Elevated sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity is present in obesity, even in individuals who are young and otherwise healthy. Baseline SNS overactivity, as well as blunted sympathetically mediated thermogenic response to a meal may play a critical role in the development and progression of CVD which is likely to develop as a result of multiple factors. Recent data indicate that SNS activity to the skeletal muscle is directly related to the degree of renal, endothelial and cardiac dysfunction in young individuals. Targeting the SNS may be an attractive and important avenue for the pharmacological treatment of obesity-related disturbances.


Sympathetic nerve activity Human obesity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth A. Lambert
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nora E. Straznicky
    • 1
  • Gavin W. Lambert
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Human Neurotransmitters LaboratoryBaker IDI Heart and Diabetes InstituteMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Departments of Physiology, Nursing and Health SciencesMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health SciencesMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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