Obesity and cardiovascular risk
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Obesity has assumed epidemic proportions and is expected to decrease the life expectancy of current and future generations by its cardiovascular complications and other associated chronic diseases. Recognizing the gravity of this trend, the American Heart Association recently identified obesity as an independent and important modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Obesity is known to cluster with other cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors constituting the cardiometabolic syndrome. The pathophysiogic link between obesity and cardiovascular disease is complex and involves multiple metabolic and inflammatory risk factors. In an attempt to better elucidate this major public health problem, this article reviews obesity as an epidemic, the structural and functional changes in the cardiovascular system as a result of obesity, and the pathophysiology of obesity-related cardiomyopathy. The sheer magnitude of the problem of obesity with its immense cardiovascular consequences warrants immediate intervention.
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