Obesity and metabolic syndrome
Obesity, in particular central obesity, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) . A great portion of the adverse impact of (central) obesity on cardiovascular health may be explained through related haemodynamic and metabolic mediators such as blood pressure (BP), cholesterol and glucose  . These risk factors tend to cluster within individuals forming the metabolic syndrome (MetS) . Obesity and/or MetS-related adverse changes in the arterial wall provide a structural and functional background for clinical events such as myocardial infarction, stroke and peripheral artery disease, all known to occur at higher rates in these conditions [4-7] . This chapter revises the current epidemiological evidence around the adverse effects that (central) obesity and the MetS may exert on large artery properties, particularly, arterial stiffening. Focus is put on evidence derived, whenever available, from representative prospective observational and intervention studies conducted over the last decade.