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Can J Cardiol. 2012 Nov-Dec;28(6):642-52. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2012.06.004. Epub 2012 Aug 11.

Abdominal obesity and cardiovascular disease: is inflammation the missing link?

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Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec, 2725 chemin Ste-Foy, Québec, QC, Canada.


It is well established that cardiovascular disease has an inflammatory component. The present narrative review explores the role of adipose tissue distribution, morphology, and function as potential mediators of the link between inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Evidence that abdominal obesity is a key driving force behind a constellation of atherothrombotic inflammatory abnormalities linked to insulin resistance and often referred to as the metabolic syndrome is also reviewed. It is also proposed that the amount of visceral adipose tissue and the liver fat content are important factors responsible for the link between abdominal obesity and features of the metabolic syndrome. It is suggested that the inflammatory profile associated with excess visceral adipose tissue/liver fat may be a consequence of the relative inability of subcutaneous adipose tissue to expand through hyperplasia and to act as a protective metabolic sink storing the chronic energy surplus resulting from a positive energy balance (overnutrition or lack of physical activity or both). In this model, the inflammatory profile often observed among sedentary overweight/obese individuals with an excess of visceral adipose tissue/liver fat may be a consequence of a more primary defect in subcutaneous adipose tissue. On that basis, it is proposed that therapeutic strategies relieving the stress for storage of a chronic energy surplus in the subcutaneous adipose tissue (reduced caloric intake, increase in energy expenditure, pharmacotherapy) should induce a substantial loss of visceral adipose tissue and of ectopic fat depots such as the liver, thereby substantially reducing inflammation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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