Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease: a Risk Factor or a Risk Marker?

  • Taher Mandviwala
  • Umair Khalid
  • Anita Deswal
Coronary Heart Disease (S. Virani and S. Naderi, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Coronary Heart Disease


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.


Obesity 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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© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Baylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical CenterHoustonUSA

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