Obesity continues to be a growing issue in the United States, with an estimated prevalence of 72 million people. There are major health implications associated with obesity, including its relationship with hypertension, diabetes mellitus type 2, metabolic syndrome, and dyslipidemia, all independent risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD). Despite the increased risk of developing CAD, in recent years an "obesity paradox" has been described in which moderately obese individuals with established cardiovascular disease, including CAD, appear to have mortality similar to their normal-weight counterparts. This review examines the relationship between obesity and CAD, including the increased risk of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, and dyslipidemia, along with a discussion of the obesity paradox and the benefits of weight reduction.
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