Obesity, weight loss and conditional cardiovascular risk factors


T Tzotzas, 27, Alexandrou Svolou Str, Thessaloniki-54622, Greece. E-mail: tzotzas@otenet.gr


Obesity is a pathological condition aggregating a substantial number of proatherogenic factors, such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidaemia and hypertension. In addition to these classic cardiometabolic risk factors, atherosclerosis may be aggravated by other non-classic factors, which are characterized as conditional, including homocysteine, fibrinogen, lipoprotein(a), LDL particle size and high-sensitivity CRP. Some of these biomarkers are disturbed in obesity because of a combination of dietary factors, hypertrophic adipose tissue, low-grade inflammation, insulin resistance and other parameters under investigation. For the reduction of these risk factors, weight loss exceeding 10–20% of the initial body weight is probably necessary, achieved through either conventional lifestyle measures or more drastic interventions such as bariatric surgery. It has been shown that certain well-balanced diets, such as the Mediterranean diet, constitute a means of improving in a concerted manner the levels of CRP, fibrinogen, homocysteine and small dense LDL particles, regardless of weight loss. The significance of considering these factors in weight management intervention is an issue that needs further investigation.