Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease: a Risk Factor or a Risk Marker?
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In the USA, 69 % of adults are either overweight or obese and 35 % are obese. Obesity is associated with an increased incidence of various cardiovascular disorders. Obesity is a risk marker for cardiovascular disease, in that it is associated with a much higher prevalence of comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome, which then increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. However, in addition, obesity may also be an independent risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, although obesity has been shown to be an independent risk factor for several cardiovascular diseases, it is often associated with improved survival once the diagnosis of the cardiovascular disease has been made, leading to the term “obesity paradox.” Several pathways linking obesity and cardiovascular disease have been described. In this review, we attempt to summarize the complex relationship between obesity and cardiovascular disorders, in particular coronary atherosclerosis, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation.
KeywordsObesity Cardiovascular disease Hypertension Atherosclerosis Coronary artery disease Heart failure
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Taher Mandviwala and Umair Khalid declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Anita Deswal declares research support from Novartis as site-PI of multicenter clinical trial, and grant support from the NIH as site-PI for clinical trials.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
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