The Concept of CMR

Epidemiology

Abdominal Obesity vs. Type 2 Diabetes: Beyond Body Weight

Obesity is frequently linked to metabolic complications that increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, obesity is a very heterogeneous condition as not every overweight/obese patient develops metabolic complications leading to type 2 diabetes. Conversely, some individuals with a normal weight and body mass index can nevertheless be at high risk of type 2 diabetes because of their abdominal obesity and the metabolic abnormalities it causes. In this regard, several epidemiological studies in the last decades have stressed that body fat distribution plays a greater role in obesity-related complications than excess body fatness per se. The specific location of body fat is more important than the overall quantity of body fat. In light of this, most experts now agree that a high amount of abdominal fat—intra-abdominal (visceral) fat in particular—increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and related mortality.