Obesity, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance/type 2 diabetes and hypertension are clustered in the metabolic syndrome representing critical risk factors for increased incidence cardio-cerebro-vascular diseases, kidney failure and cancer. Ectopic fat accumulation, i.e., accumulation in the mediastinum, liver and the abdomen, as well as generalized fat accumulation are associated with arterial hypertension, either systolic or diastolic. Several mechanisms including insulin resistance, sub-inflammatory state, increased Renin- Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (RAAS) system activity, oxidative stress, autonomic dysregulation as well as mechanical compression on the kidneys are all activated by obesity. Interestingly angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II (ATII) receptor blockers, while correcting arterial hypertension, also have a positive effect on glucose metabolism and diabetes prevention, in high risk patients. The implementation of dietary, medical and surgical strategies to prevent and treat obesity, are cornerstones for the primary prevention as well as treatment of arterial hypertension.
Keywords: Visceral fat, epicardial fat, hepatic fat, perivascular fat, pancreatic fat, metabolic syndrome, blood pressure, visceral adipose tissue (VAT), sodium retention, oxidative stress
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