Facing Morbid Obesity: How to Approach It

Angiology. 2016 Apr;67(4):391-7. doi: 10.1177/0003319715595735. Epub 2015 Jul 17.


Obesity is a major public health problem, with a prevalence of 10% to 20% in Western Europe. Morbid obesity, characterized by body mass index >40 kg/m(2), showed an increased prevalence in the last 30 years. Obesity is associated with reduced economic and social opportunities, reduced quality of life, and is a determinant of several "intermediate risk factors," leading to an increased mortality and a loss in life expectancy. The rising prevalence of morbid obesity increased the demand for bariatric surgery, also called "metabolic surgery": after these interventions, there is a decrease in metabolic comorbidities, cardiovascular (CV) risk, and total mortality. In this review, we update the evaluation of morbid obese patients from the physical examination to the metabolic, CV and respiratory assessments in order to correctly stratify the CV risk and provide the best treatment. To obtain these achievements, multidisciplinary work has to be carried out with a team involving several experts with different skills.

Keywords: dyslipidemia; insulin resistance; morbid obesity; obesity cardiomyopathy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bariatric Surgery* / methods
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications*
  • Humans
  • Obesity, Morbid / complications
  • Obesity, Morbid / metabolism
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Factors
  • Weight Loss / physiology*