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Petersen study of cardiometabolic health in obesity published in Cell Metabolism

Max Petersen, MD, PhD, Instructor in Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Lipid Research, recently published a paper, Cardiometabolic characteristics of people with metabolically healthy and unhealthy obesity, in Cell Metabolism. The senior author of the study was Samuel Klein, MD, the William Danforth Professor of Medicine, and Chief of the Division of Nutritional Science & Obesity Medicine.

Some people with obesity are resistant to the adverse cardiometabolic effects of excess adiposity and are considered to have “metabolically health obesity.” Petersen and co-authors evaluated 100 cardiometabolic outcomes and gene expression in adipose tissue and skeletal muscle to construct a comprehensive physiological atlas of metabolically healthy and unhealthy obesity.

More than 100 cardiometabolic features were evaluated in adults with rigorously defined metabolically healthy obesity (normal fasting plasma glucose and triglyceride concentrations, oral glucose tolerance, liver fat, and whole-body insulin sensitivity) or metabolically unhealthy obesity (prediabetes, increased liver fat content, and whole-body insulin resistance). 

Major findings of the study included differences in adipose (fat) tissue and muscle biology, body composition, and oxidative stress. The results provide a framework of possible mechanisms involved in the metabolic response to obesity.