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Hypertension. 2005 Jan;45(1):9-14. Epub 2004 Dec 6.

Obesity-associated hypertension: new insights into mechanisms.

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  • 1Specialized Center of Research in Hypertension Genetics, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Obesity is strongly associated with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Several central and peripheral abnormalities that can explain the development or maintenance of high arterial pressure in obesity have been identified. These include activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Obesity is also associated with endothelial dysfunction and renal functional abnormalities that may play a role in the development of hypertension. The continuing discovery of mechanisms regulating appetite and metabolism is likely to lead to new therapies for obesity-induced hypertension. Better understanding of leptin signaling in the hypothalamus and the mechanisms of leptin resistance should facilitate therapeutic approaches to reverse the phenomenon of selective leptin resistance. Other hunger and satiety signals such as ghrelin and peptide YY are potentially attractive therapeutic strategies for treatment of obesity and its complications. These recent discoveries should lead to novel strategies for treatment of obesity and hypertension.

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