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Metabolically healthy obesity--does it exist?

Authors
  • Boonchaya-anant, Patchaya
  • Apovian, Caroline M
Type
Published Article
Journal
Current Atherosclerosis Reports
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2014
Volume
16
Issue
10
Pages
441–441
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11883-014-0441-1
PMID: 25092577
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The prevalence of obesity has been increasing worldwide over the past 30 years and is a major public health concern. Obesity is known to be associated with metabolic disturbances including insulin resistance and inflammation; however, there is a subset of obese subjects who have normal metabolic profiles, and they have been identified as the metabolically healthy obese (MHO). Several studies have described MHO as obese individuals who have high levels of insulin sensitivity and the absence of diabetes, dyslipidemia, or hypertension. The prevalence of MHO varies from 20 to 30% among obese individuals. This review will discuss the MHO phenotype; the differences between MHO and metabolically unhealthy obese (MUO) individuals; and the possible underlying mechanisms including adipocyte differentiation, immune regulation, and cellular energy metabolism.

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