Diabesity: the combined burden of obesity and diabetes on heart disease and the role of imaging

Arnold C.T. Ng, Victoria Delgado, Barry A. Borlaug, Jeroen J. Bax

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Diabesity is a term used to describe the combined adverse health effects of obesity and diabetes mellitus. The worldwide dual epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes is an important public health issue. Projections estimate a sixfold increase in the number of adults with obesity in 40 years and an increase in the number of individuals with diabetes to 642 million by 2040. Increased adiposity is the strongest risk factor for developing diabetes. Early detection of the effects of diabesity on the cardiovascular system would enable the optimal implementation of effective therapies that prevent atherosclerosis progression, cardiac remodelling, and the resulting ischaemic heart disease and heart failure. Beyond conventional imaging techniques, such as echocardiography, CT and cardiac magnetic resonance, novel post-processing tools and techniques provide information on the biological processes that underlie metabolic heart disease. In this Review, we summarize the effects of obesity and diabetes on myocardial structure and function and illustrate the use of state-of-the-art multimodality cardiac imaging to elucidate the pathophysiology of myocardial dysfunction, prognosticate long-term clinical outcomes and potentially guide treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-304
Number of pages14
JournalNature Reviews Cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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