Department of Emergency Medicine, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China; Department of Burns, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China. Electronic address: [Email]
The advance in medical technology and healthcare has dramatically improved the average human lifespan. One of the consequences for longevity is the high prevalence of aging-related chronic disorders such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and metabolic abnormalities. As the composition of aging population is raising in western countries, heart failure remains the number one cause of death with a more severe impact in the elderly. Obesity and aging are the most critical risk factors for increased susceptibility to heart failure in developing and developed countries. Numerous population-based and experimental data have depicted a close relationship between the age-related diseases and obesity. There is an overall agreement that obesity is causally linked to the development of cardiovascular disorders and severe premature cardiac aging. Accumulating evidence indicates that autophagy plays an important role in obesity, cardiac aging and diseases. In this review, we will focus on the role of autophagy in obesity-related cardiac aging and diseases, and how it regulates age-dependent changes in the heart.