Impact of Obesity on Cardiovascular Disease
The epidemiology of cardiovacular disease risk factors is changing rapidly with the obesity pandemic. Obesity is independently associated with the risks for coronary heart disease, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure. Intra-abdominal obesity is also unique as a cardiovascular risk state in that it contributes to or directly causes most other modifiable risk factors, namely, hypertension, dysmetabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Obesity can also exacerbate cardiovascular disease through a variety of mechanisms including systemic inflammation, hypercoagulability, and activation of the sympathetic and reninangiotensin systems. Thus, weight reduction is a key strategy for simultaneous improvement in global cardiovascular risk, with anticipated improvements in survival and quality of life.