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Am J Med. 2007 Sep;120(9 Suppl 1):S10-6; discussion S16-7.

Abdominal adiposity and cardiometabolic risk: do we have all the answers?

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Department of Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas 78240, USA.


Overweight and obesity, particularly abdominal adiposity, increase the risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Metabolic syndrome, a constellation of risk factors that includes elevated triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting glucose, and abdominal obesity, predicts the development of CVD and diabetes to an even greater degree. Excess abdominal adipose tissue is associated with insulin resistance, the precursor to type 2 diabetes, and creates an atherogenic inflammatory milieu, characterized by high levels of C-reactive protein and other inflammatory markers (e.g., fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, cytokines, and adhesion molecules). High levels of these biomarkers correlate with an increased incidence of diabetes and CVD. Recent evidence suggests that patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease have an increased incidence of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance and/or type 2 diabetes. Relatively small reductions in body weight may significantly reduce abdominal adipose tissue, reduce insulin resistance, lower triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and decrease overall cardiometabolic risk.

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