The influence of obesity and consequent insulin resistance on coronary risk factors in medically treated patients with coronary disease.Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 Jun; 32(6):967-74.IJ
Obesity promotes the development and progression of coronary heart disease (CHD), in part, through its association with hyperlipidemia, hypertension, clotting abnormalities and insulin resistance. We assessed whether these relationships persist in patients with established CHD treated with evidence-based preventive pharmacologic therapies.
DESIGN AND SUBJECTS
We performed a cross-sectional study of 74 adults with CHD and a body mass index (BMI) of >27 kg m(-2) (mean 32+/-4). The mean age of subjects was 64+/-9 years (range 44-84 years).
Obesity measures included weight, BMI, waist, fat mass, intra-abdominal fat and subcutaneous fat. Risk factor measures included insulin sensitivity, fasting insulin level, lipid profiles, blood pressure, C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) and platelet reactivity. Medication use included aspirin (99%), statin (84%), beta-blocker (71%), ACE inhibitor or blocker (37%) and clopidogrel (28%).
There was no direct relationship between obesity parameters and risk factor measures of lipid concentrations, blood pressure, clotting abnormalities or platelet reactivity except for a modest relationship between visceral fat and hs-CRP (r=0.30, P=0.02). However, increased BMI, waist circumference, fat mass, total abdominal fat and abdominal subcutaneous fat all correlated with insulin sensitivity (r-values -0.30 to -0.45, P-values 0.01 to <0.001) and insulin concentrations. Insulin sensitivity, in turn, was the best predictor of PAI-1, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, cholesterol/HDL levels (all P<0.01) and platelet reactivity (R=0.34, P=0.02).
Use of preventive pharmacologic therapies obviated the expected relationship between adiposity and CHD risk factors. However, a residual effect of insulin resistance is left untreated. Total adiposity and central adiposity were strong predictors of insulin sensitivity, which in turn predicted cardiac risk factors such as lipid concentrations, PAI-1 and platelet reactivity. Thus, while evidence-based pharmacologic treatments may diminish the statistical relationship between obesity and many cardiac risk factors, adiposity negatively impacts CHD risk by reducing tissue insulin sensitivity.