The obesity paradox and cardiovascular disease

Curr Hypertens Rep. 2010 Apr;12(2):120-6. doi: 10.1007/s11906-010-0099-1.


Obesity is increasingly recognized as a global pandemic that threatens the health of millions of people. Obesity is considered to be an important cardiovascular risk factor, but there is increasing evidence that patients with elevated body mass index may be better off than others if they develop cardiovascular or renal disease. This phenomenon has been described as the "obesity paradox" or "reverse epidemiology." This article reviews some recent publications that have studied this phenomenon as it relates to heart failure, coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease, kidney disease, and a cohort of patients undergoing nonbariatric surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / pathology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Dyslipidemias / pathology
  • Heart Failure / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases / complications
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / pathology
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / mortality
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha


  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha