Diseases of the coronary circulation remain the leading cause of death in Western society despite impressive advances in diagnosis, pharmacotherapy and post-event management. Part of this statistic likely stems from a parallel increase in the prevalence of obesity and metabolic dysfunction, both significant risk factors for coronary disease. Obesity and diabetes pose unique challenges for the heart and their impact on the coronary vasculature remains incompletely understood. The vascular endothelium is a major interface between arterial function and the physical and chemical components of blood flow. Proper function of the endothelium is necessary to preserve hemostasis, maintain vascular tone and limit the extent of vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis. Given its central role in vascular health, endothelial dysfunction has been the source of considerable research interest in diabetes and obesity. In the current review, we will examine the pathologic impact of obesity and diabetes on coronary function and the extent to which these two factors impact endothelial function. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Coronary Blood Flow".
- Insulin resistance
- Nitric oxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine