Obesity and hypertension

Exp Ther Med. 2016 Oct;12(4):2395-2399. doi: 10.3892/etm.2016.3667. Epub 2016 Sep 6.


The imbalance between energy intake and expenditure is the main cause of excessive overweight and obesity. Technically, obesity is defined as the abnormal accumulation of ≥20% of body fat, over the individual's ideal body weight. The latter constitutes the maximal healthful value for an individual that is calculated based chiefly on the height, age, build and degree of muscular development. However, obesity is diagnosed by measuring the weight in relation to the height of an individual, thereby determining or calculating the body mass index. The National Institutes of Health have defined 30 kg/m2 as the limit over which an individual is qualified as obese. Accordingly, the prevalence of obesity in on the increase in children and adults worldwide, despite World Health Organization warnings. The growth of obesity and the scale of associated health issues induce serious consequences for individuals and governmental health systems. Excessive overweight remains among the most neglected public health issues worldwide, while obesity is associated with increasing risks of disability, illness and death. Cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of mortality worldwide, particularly hypertension and diabetes, are the main illnesses associated with obesity. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underlying obesity-associated hypertension or other associated metabolic diseases remains to be adequately investigated. In the present review, we addressed the association between obesity and cardiovascular disease, particularly the biological mechanisms linking obesity and hypertension.

Keywords: body mass index; hypertension; obesity; renin-angiotensin system.