Obesity and Cardiovascular Diseases

Dr. Jo Jo HAI - Honorary Secretary, HKOS

Obesity is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases including ischemic heart disease, atrial fibrillation, heart failure and sudden cardiac death. Although studies have shown that weight loss is associated with improved control of cardiovascular risk factors and atrial fibrillation, its actual effect on cardiovascular outcomes remains controversial. While studies on life-style modification in combination with pharmacotherapy have not been found to improve cardiovascular outcomes, weight loss with bariatric surgery has been shown to reduce cardiovascular events and overall mortality. The reason for these contrasting observations remain unclear. While the adverse effects of unphysiologic dietary restriction and medical treatment may partly explain these conflicting results, the inadequacy of simple anthropometric indexes to evaluate body composition and fat distribution may also account for the controversies. As a result, there is an emerging need to establish appropriate indexes to identify at-risk individuals, and develop safe and efficient therapeutic modalities for the management of this group of patients.


In the recent decade, significant advancement in imaging techniques have allowed accurate measurement and localization of body adipose tissue. Furthermore, the emergence of new medical and interventional therapies has provided us with treatment options with superior safety profile. The establishment of the Hong Kong Obesity Society will not only allow health care professionals in Hong Kong to communicate updated information on obesity management with world-renowned experts, but also serve as a platform for the development and conduction of relevant clinical researches in this area.