Circulating Biomarkers in Cardiovascular DiseaseView this Special Issue
Use of Obesity Biomarkers in Cardiovascular Epidemiology
Obesity is an established risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), yet, the underlying mechanisms are only poorly understood. The adipose tissue produces a variety of hormones and cytokines and thereby actively participates in a network of biomarkers that may be relevant for the development of CVD. Such obesity biomarkers have a great potential to better characterize the obesity phenotype that may be relevant for the risk of CVD beyond anthropometric parameters. They may be used to support mechanistic studies, to help identify individuals at risk for CVD, and to evaluate the effect of preventive measures. The present article discusses the role of some of the most promising obesity biomarkers in cardiovascular epidemiology, including inflammatory markers, adiponectin, resistin, and fetuin-A. Importantly, some of these markers have been related to cardiovascular risk even after accounting for anthropometric parameters. Further, the potential ability to manipulate blood levels of some of these biomarkers through medication, diet and lifestyle make them attractive markers for cardiovascular risk. However, many open questions remain – especially with regard to the causal role of the factors as well as with regard to the extent of improvement in CVD prediction by these markers – before measurement of these biomarkers may be recommended on a public health level.