Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, and Cardiovascular Risk
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Obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are major drivers of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The link between environmental factors, obesity, and dysglycemia indicates that progression to diabetes with time occurs along a “continuum”, not necessarily linear, which involves different cellular mechanisms including alterations of insulin signaling, changes in glucose transport, pancreatic beta cell dysfunction, as well as the deregulation of key genes involved in oxidative stress and inflammation. The present review critically addresses key pathophysiological aspects including (i) hyperglycemia and insulin resistance as predictors of CV outcome, (ii) molecular mechanisms underpinning the progression of diabetic vascular complications despite intensive glycemic control, and (iii) stratification of CV risk, with particular emphasis on emerging biomarkers. Taken together, these important aspects may contribute to the development of promising diagnostic approaches as well as mechanism-based therapeutic strategies to reduce CVD burden in obese and diabetic subjects.