Ectopic fat storage, insulin resistance, and hypertension

Anna Maria, Rosa Sicari, Franco Folli, Amalia Gastaldelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3074-3080
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent pharmaceutical design
Issue number28
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011


  • Blood pressure
  • Epicardial fat
  • Hepatic fat
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Pancreatic fat
  • Perivascular fat
  • Visceral fat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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