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Adiposopathy and cardiovascular disease: the benefits of bariatric surgery

Appachi, Swathia; Kashyap, Sangeeta R.b

Current Opinion in Cardiology:
doi: 10.1097/HCO.0b013e3283642a33
PREVENTION: Edited by Andrew Pipe

Purpose of review: Obesity is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and promotes CVD risk factors. Bariatric surgery has gained much favor because it ameliorates CVD. This review examines the current evidence for the mechanism behind this, which is currently thought to occur in part by reduction of adiposopathy, or dysfunctional adipose tissue, through modulation of adipokine secretion.

Recent findings: Increased visceral fat in obesity leads to adiposopathy, due to the chronic inflammation present in this tissue. Bariatric surgery causes weight loss as well as reduction in insulin resistance, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiac hypertrophy, and mortality. It also causes changes in the adipokines adiponectin, leptin, and C-reactive protein, but not in tumor necrosis factor-α. These changes contribute to improved CVD risk, possibly through decrease of chronic inflammation.

Summary: The modulations in adipokine secretion that occur after bariatric surgery are involved with reduction in CVD risk factors, CVD, and CV mortality. On the basis of the known anti-inflammatory effects of adiponectin and the pro-inflammatory effects of leptin and CRP, reduction in chronic inflammation associated with less visceral fat after surgery may contribute to the reduction in CVD. This may promote improvement of endothelial dysfunction and insulin resistance. Further work is necessary to explore these relationships.

Author Information

aCleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

bCleveland Clinic Institute of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Correspondence to Swathi Appachi, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA. Tel: +1 216 445 7170; e-mail:

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins