Thinking around abdominal obesity and cardiovascular risk.
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Obesity, particularly abdominal (visceral) obesity, is a burden on healthcare systems worldwide and is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD), insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, dyslipidaemia, metabolic syndrome, inflammation and thrombosis. Excess visceral fat is associated with an increased risk of CVD. A reliable indicator for visceral fat is waist circumference (WC), which is strongly associated with all-cause mortality. One of the central debates is how does obesity cause CVD. A key hypothesis is that pro-inflammatory adipokines released by adipocytes play a causal role in the development of the pathologies that are associated with insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes and CVD. Although current drug therapies for the treatment of obesity induce weight loss, there is still a need for new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of abdominal obesity. A new class of compounds, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) blockers, is currently under development for the treatment of obesity and shows promising preliminary clinical results.