Prioritizing obesity treatment: expanding the role of cardiologists to improve cardiovascular health and outcomes

Cardiovasc Endocrinol Metab. 2023 Feb 7;12(1):e0279. doi: 10.1097/XCE.0000000000000279. eCollection 2023 Mar.


Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, yet management remains poor. Cardiologists and healthcare professionals treating people with high cardiovascular risk are in a position to address overweight and obesity to improve cardiovascular health. There are several treatment options for obesity, which are associated with numerous health benefits. Modest weight reductions of 5-10% improve cardiovascular risk factors, with greater weight loss bringing about greater benefits. Anti-obesity medications can support weight reduction when lifestyle modifications alone are insufficient. The weight loss induced by these treatments can improve cardiovascular risk, and some therapies - such as glucagon-like-peptide-1 analogues - may promote these benefits independently of weight loss. Bariatric surgery can induce greater weight losses than other treatment modalities and is associated with numerous health benefits, but newer medications such as semaglutide and those in development, such as tirzepatide, produce robust weight loss efficacy that is approaching that of bariatric surgery. Healthcare professionals must approach this disease with compassion and collaborate with patients to develop sustainable plans that improve health and maintain weight loss over the long term.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; cardiovascular risk; obesity; obesity management; weight loss.