Obesity as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease


Obesity as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases

Currently, obesity and overweight are some of the most severe problems faced by healthcare systems of almost all developed countries.

The need to take measures to combat the further obesity development is caused by the fact that the disease is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

It is important to note that there is a direct relationship between CVD and obesity: the greater body mass index (BMI), the higher risk of the diseases.

BMI is the most common indicator used to determine degree of obesity or overweight. This indicator helps to estimate a ratio of the person’s body weight and its height to determine whether the weight is normal, excessive or insufficient.

BMI within 25-29.9 kg / m2 is considered to be increased that indicates overweight. BMI above 30 kg / m2 indicates the presence of obesity and high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Depending on localization of fat deposits, a man or a woman can be diagnosed with:

Android obesity (male type)

Gynoid obesity (female type)

Mixed obesity (a combination of android and gynoid type).

Android obesity is characterized by fat deposits in the upper part of the trunk and on the abdomen; herewith figure resembles an apple. Exactly this type of obesity is associated with high risk of developing diseases of the cardiovascular system, gout and metabolic syndrome.

It is established that android type of obesity is the main risk factor for development of atherosclerosis, arterial hypertension, heart attack, heart failure, and metabolic syndrome.

Fat accumulations in the abdominal cavity and metabolic syndrome are directly related to each other. This is explained by the fact that this fat (also known as visceral) has a high metabolic activity and may cause metabolic disorders.

Due to lipolysis of visceral fat, a large number of fatty acids enter the liver. As a result, the liver begins to produce an excessive amount of lipoproteins of very low and low density that causes development of atherosclerosis.

In atherosclerosis, atherosclerotic plaques are formed sooner or later. Accumulating on the blood vessels walls, atherosclerotic plaques narrow the lumen of the arteries and lead to circulatory disorders, high blood pressure and heart diseases.

At present, reliable data has been obtained that obesity may:

  • increase cardiac output
  • affect the myocardium function and structure
  • cause chronic heart failure.

Excess of adipose tissue with its additional vascular network aggravates hemodynamic load on the left ventricle and contributes to its eccentric hypertrophy.


It is established a reliable link between obesity and development of myocardial infarction, cerebral stroke, heart failure and angina. In addition, development of hypertension is associated with enhancement of load on the heart and increase in blood volume.

Even moderate weight loss may reduce risk of developing CVDs or slow down their development in obese patients. Numerous studies have shown that the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases is reduced by at least 9% when decreasing weight by 10% or more.

Given the leading role of obesity in development of cardiovascular pathology, the main task of obese people is:

Reduction of excess body weight
Maintaining an optimal weight throughout life.

The main methods of treating obesity are diet therapy and increase in physical activity. More physiological and effective methods of weight loss are such physical activity as:



Bicycle riding


When prescribing any physical activity, the patient’s physical capabilities should be taken into account and the load should be increased gradually. Herewith, real intermediate goals should be established.

Use of Phentermine and other anti-obesity drugs in combination with adequate physical activity helps reduce a risk of cardiovascular complications in patients with obesity or overweight.