Vascular calcification (VC), commonly encountered in renal failure, diabetes, and aging, is associated with a large increase in the risk for cardiovascular events and mortality. Calcification of the arterial media and of heart valves clearly plays a mediating role in this regard, whereas it is less clear how calcification of plaque influences atherogenesis and risk for plaque rupture. Vascular calcification is an active process in which vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) adopt an osteoblastic phenotype and deposit hydroxyapatite crystals; apoptosis of VSMCs also promotes this deposition.
OBJECTIVES: The objective of this prospective, single-site, 2-year dietary intervention study was to evaluate the effects of moderate weight reduction and subsequent partial weight regain on cardiovascular structure and function. BACKGROUND: Obesity is associated with adverse cardiac and vascular structural and functional alterations. METHODS: Sixty obese subjects (age 46 + or - 10 years, body mass index 37 + or - 3 kg/m(2)) were evaluated during their participation in a weight loss study.