The prevalence of obesity has dramatically increased during the past two decades. Epidemiological studies suggest that obesity is an independent, modifiable risk factor for coronary heart disease, possibly due, at least in part, to the development of a pro-inflammatory and a pro-thrombotic state in obese subjects. In addition, numerous cohort studies have shown a link between obesity and different types of cancer. Accordingly, the regulation of body weight is becoming a serious concern for public health experts and scientists. Although the mechanisms responsible for these associations are still to be fully elucidated, a key role has been assigned to adipokines, a family of hormones which act as modulators of metabolism or inflammation, secreted by adipocytes. Tissue factor, the major physiological trigger of the blood coagulation cascade in vivo, which plays a central role in atherothrombosis and tumor biology, has also been proposed as one of the key molecules responsible for these associations.
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