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Treatment of obesity : need to focus on high risk abdominally obese patients

Published on Mar 24, 2001in BMJ27.60
· DOI :10.1136/bmj.322.7288.716
Jean-Pierre Després118
Estimated H-index: 118
,
Isabelle Lemieux46
Estimated H-index: 46
,
Denis Prud'homme42
Estimated H-index: 42
Abstract
Editorial by Little and Byrne It is generally accepted that obesity is a health hazard because of its association with numerous metabolic complications such as dyslipidaemia, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.1 On that basis, health agencies 2 3 have proposed that obesity should be defined on the basis of weight in kg expressed over height in m2, the so called body mass index,4 initially described by Quetelet in 1869 (table). Epidemiological studies have reported a progressive increase in the incidence of chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease with increasing body mass index.1-3 However, despite this well documented evidence, physicians are, in their daily practice, perplexed by the remarkable heterogeneity found in their obese patients. For instance, some patients show a relatively “normal” profile of metabolic risk factors despite the presence of substantial excess body fat, whereas others who are only moderately overweight can nevertheless be characterised by a whole cluster of metabolic complications, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease. View this table: Classification of obesity based on body mass index (BMI)2 3 #### Summary points A simple measurement such as waist circumference can indicate accumulation of abdominal fat Viscerally obese men are characterised by an atherogenic plasma lipoprotein profile A triad of non-traditional markers for coronary heart disease found in viscerally obese middle aged men (hyperinsulinaemia, raised apolipoprotein B concentration, and small LDL particles) increases the risk of coronary heart disease 20-fold Four out of five middle aged men with a waist measurement ≥90 cm and triglyceride concentrations ≥2 mmol/l are characterised by this triad Even in the absence of hypercholesterolaemia, hyperglycaemia, or hypertension, obese patients could be at high risk of coronary heart disease if they have this “hypertriglyceridaemic waist” phenotype In this regard, epidemiological and metabolic studies …
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