Obesity used to be among the more neglected public health problems, but has unfolded as a growing medical and socioeconomic burden of epidemic proportions. Morbid obesity is linked to traditional cardiovascular risk factors like, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes, and suspected to incur increased morbidity and mortality in the Western and even third world populations. This patient cohort is also at greater risk to develop coronary artery disease. Recent population-based registries revealed that 43% and 24% of all cases of coronary revascularization were carried out in overweight and obese patients, respectively. However, despite evidence of a positive correlation between obesity and increased cardiovascular morbidity, some authors have described a better clinical outcome in overweight and obese patients, a phenomenon they coined "obesity paradoxon". Thus, there is an ongoing debate in light of conflicting data and the possibility of confounding bias causing misconception and challenging the "obesity paradox". In this review article we present the current evidence and throughly discuss the validity of the "obesity paradoxon" in a variety of clinical settings.
Keywords: Body mass index; Coronary stent; Mortality; Obesity paradox.