Hyperlipidemia and obesity

Hyperlipidemia is one of the most common metabolic diseases associated with obesity or overweight. Hyperlipidemia is characterized by elevated cholesterol level in the blood.

In 2008, hyperlipidemia was diagnosed in approximately 40% of women and in more than 35% of men, including in 50% of the Europeans and in about 49% of the Americans.

In increase of body weight, the likelihood of hyperlipidemia significantly increases. Obese patients with type 1 diabetes have the highest risk of this metabolic disease.

The most common symptoms of hyperlipidemia in obesity are as follows:

  • reduction of insulin sensitivity,
  • reduction of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) level,
  • increased concentration of low density lipoproteins (LDL).

Hyperlipidemia and obesityIn obesity, hyperlipidemia is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis or coronary heart disease. Obese children or adolescents with lipid metabolism disorders have higher cardiovascular risk than adults do.

Timely diagnosis and initiation of hyperlipidemia treatment in obesity or overweight help avoid secondary diseases, including endocrine or cardiovascular ones.

Obese patients with lipid metabolism disorder are recommended to undergo laboratory tests to determine lipid level in the blood at least 1-3 times a year.

Effective methods of treating hyperlipidemia in obesity are:

  • hormone replacement therapy;
  • lifestyle changes and rejection of bad habits;
  • various programs for weight management;
  • drug therapy using drugs to reduce level of “bad” cholesterol.

Hormonal replacement therapy can be prescribed to treat hyperlipidemia in obesity. This method to restore lipid metabolism is contraindicated in postmenopausal women.

The most popular drugs for hyperlipidemia pharmacotherapy are statins (Atorvastatin, also known as Lipitor), PCSK9 inhibitors (Evolocumab, sold under the brand Repatha), as well as Ezetimibe (Zetia) and Niacin (Niaspan).

Decrease in body fat contributes to gradual restoration of normal level of triglycerides in the patient’s blood. Therefore, weight loss is the preferred method of treating hyperlipidemia in obesity.

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