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Obesity is an independent risk factor for developing heart failure and the combination of the two disease states will prove to be a significant health burden over the coming years. Obesity is likely to contribute to the development of heart failure through a variety of mechanisms, including structural and functional changes, lipotoxicity and steatosis and altered substrate selection. However, once heart failure has developed, it seems that obesity confers a beneficial influence on prognosis in what has been termed the 'obesity paradox'. This may be a statistical phenomenon, but it should be considered that there is truly a protective state in the physiology of obesity. There is little evidence regarding the impact of weight loss in obese heart failure and whether or not this is beneficial. There have been small studies regarding the cardiovascular effects of both dietary weight loss and bariatric surgery, but few in heart failure. This is an important and increasingly relevant clinical question which must be addressed.

Original publication




Journal article


Obes Rev

Publication Date





679 - 690


Cardiomyopathy, heart failure, myocardial energetics, obesity paradox, Body Mass Index, Cardiomyopathies, Heart Failure, Humans, Obesity, Prognosis, Risk Factors, Survival Rate, Weight Loss, Weight Reduction Programs