How Does Obesity Cause Hypertension?

Obesity is the increase in the body fat and occurs in both the sexes and can affect any age group. There are several factors which are associated with increasing the amount of body fat that results in obesity. Weight gain occurs when one eats more calories than your body uses. If the food you eat provides more calories than your body needs, the excess is converted to fat. The most important causes are:

• Genetic

• Metabolic

• Psychological

• Sociocultural

• Sedentary lifestyle

• High caloric nutrition

• Multiple factors

Obesity is also considered as one of the causes of hypertension and this has been proved in a number of researches. According to the population studies, it has been indicated that almost two-thirds of the people suffering from obesity are at risk of hypertension. Apart from an increased risk of hypertension, there are also risks associated to sleep apnea, coronary heart disease and congestive cardiac failure.

Though the exact mechanism of how obesity is a cause for hypertension is unknown, but a lot can be attributed to the neuroendocrine mechanism and also the factors resulting from adipose tissue are considered to be a cause behind the link.

Obesity is found to affect a number of hormonal levels in our body, the worst affected is the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. This system is responsible for controlling the blood volume of the body and along with the sympathetic nervous system; it controls the level of sodium and water retention in the body. Both these factors are responsible for the proper regulation of blood pressure and with obesity interfering with these systems, it can lead to hypertension. The adipose tissue deposition can lead to the irregular functioning of the kidney, which can lead to altering of the blood pressure.

Furthermore, increased in renal sodium reabsorption results in the alteration of the blood pressure. Obesity as a cause of hypertension can also be to the basics of the metabolic syndrome like glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. It is important to make a note here that every year 2% of the cases of hypertensive patients who are under treatment report being diagnosed with diabetes.

It is important to realize that obesity related hypertension leads to a multiple factor disorder, and it is not possible to rule out a single mechanism that is responsible for the linking of obesity to hypertension. It is most likely that obesity leading to metabolic dysfunction and a possible renal factor may lead to hypertension observed in obese people.

To control the obesity related hypertension, critical weight loss is an effective way of managing the condition. Weight loss will lead to a significant lowering of blood pressure. It is important to work from the beginning before hypertension leads to other cardiovascular risks in obese patients. It is also important that a global strategy be developed for management of obesity and its further complication into other cardiovascular risks.


  1. Outstanding

  2. valentine machocho

    it was quite satisfying

  3. This is actually what I'm learning in class, I'm glad that the information posted relates to it unlike the FAD diet books.

  4. Article clear. Easy to understand. Good.

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