Obesity – Risk or Protection Factor? Obesity Paradox in Cardiovascular Diseases

Abstract: Obesity, by definition, is a chronic disease which is the result of excessive accumulation of fatty tissue and characterized by increasing body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2 . It is classified as a civilization disease. According to World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016 worldwide, there were 650 million obese people. As evidenced, obesity increases the probability of developing cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, heart failure and coronary artery disease. Interestingly, a lot of studies have been carried out and results of these studies indicate that obesity, which is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, may also act as a favorable prognostic factor. Obese patients with chronic diseases, for instance heart failure or patients with coronary artery disease, who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention, have better results of treatment compared to patients with normal body weight. This phenomenon, which is based on the paradoxical relationship of increased body mass with lower mortality, is defined as the obesity paradox. We present a review of the literature, which will allow understanding the problem of this phenomenon, its pathophysiology and results of the patients with cardiovascular disease connected with obesity paradox.

Julia Lesniewska, Anna Adamek, Jakub Gawrys, Karolina Gawrys, Magdalena Piotrowska

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