Mechanistic links between central obesity and cardiorenal metabolic diseases

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: There is a marked increase in the global prevalence of obesity over the last decades with an estimated 1.9 billion adults living with overweight or obesity. This is associated with a sharp rise in prevalence of cardiorenal metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, and heart failure. With recent evidence of the efficacy of sodium glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists on cardiorenal protection and weight reduction, it is reasonable to investigate common causative pathways for cardiorenal metabolic diseases. SUMMARY: Central obesity is a common condition with 41.5% prevalence worldwide. It is associated with adverse outcomes even in people with a normal body mass index. Central obesity develops when the personal fat threshold for expansion in the subcutaneous adipose tissue exceeds a certain level. Multiple factors such as age, gender, genetics, and hormones may play a role in determining personal susceptibility to central obesity. Cardiorenal metabolic diseases usually cluster in certain populations - commonly in people with central obesity - and cause a substantial burden on health services and increase the risk of all-cause mortality. In this review, we investigate the pathophysiological pathways between central obesity and cardiorenal metabolic diseases. These pathways include activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and the sympathetic nervous system, inflammation and oxidative stress, haemodynamic impairment, insulin resistance, and endothelial dysfunction. KEY MESSAGE: Central obesity has a pivotal role in the development of cardiorenal metabolic diseases and should be targeted with population-based approaches, such as dietary and lifestyle interventions, as well as the development of pharmacotherapy to reduce the burden of cardiorenal metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-22
Number of pages11
JournalCardioRenal Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date3 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Cardiorenal syndrome
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Heart failure
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity


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