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Nat Rev Cardiol. 2009 Jun;6(6):399-409. doi: 10.1038/nrcardio.2009.55. Epub 2009 Apr 28.

Obesity, inflammation, and atherosclerosis.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Understanding of the pathophysiology of atherogenesis has evolved substantially during the last few decades. Atherosclerosis was once identified as a lipid-storage disease, but is now recognized as a subacute inflammatory condition of the vessel wall, characterized by infiltration of macrophages and T cells, which interact with one another and with cells of the arterial wall. The pathological mechanisms of obesity recapitulate many features of the inflammatory processes at work in atherosclerosis. Our current appreciation of the similarities between obesity and atherosclerosis has already fostered innovations for the diagnosis, prognosis, and prevention of these two conditions.

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