The prevalence of obesity and its related diseases are increasing worldwide. This phenomenon has been observed not only in adults but also in adolescents and children. Numerous scientific studies have revealed a direct correlation between the increase in blood pressure and weight gain. In fact, visceral fat can contribute to the rise in blood pressure because it is associated with an increased production of inflammatory cytokines (such as interleukin-1-β, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6) and inflammatory factors (such as C-reactive protein), inducing endothelial dysfunction and consequently arterial hypertension (AH). Insulin resistance, which develops in obese individuals, may represent an additional risk factor in the onset of AH. Postprandial hyperglycemia is not able to inhibit lipolysis, inducing a greater release of free fatty acids causing metabolic abnormalities, oxidative stress and vascular dysfunction. In this chapter, we will examine the mechanisms that correlate obesity to hypertension, such as the involvement of the sympathetic nervous system, metabolic and renal alterations. Finally, the pharmacological and nutritional treatment of obesity-related hypertension will be described.
Part of the book: Understanding the Molecular Crosstalk in Biological Processes