University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Edita Stokić, MD, PhD, endocrinologist, Professor of Internal medicine-Endocrinology, employed in the Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders of the Clinical Centre of Vojvodina in Novi Sad, Serbia. In 2005, she was appointed as Chief of Department. She is currently the Vice President of Serbian Association for the Study of Obesity and Chairman of the Continuing Education Board (Society of Physicians of Vojvodina of the Medical Society of Serbia). She is also President of the Internal Medicine Section, and (2002-2004) President of Endocrinology Section within same Society. Edita Stokić is an author or co-author of 390 scientific articles, and publications on obesity, dyslipidemias and diabetes. She has also published monograph Obesity is treatable disease.
Prevalence of obesity, as a chronic disease characterized by an increase of fat mass to an extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, is increasing worldwide. In Serbia, obesity is one of the most important health problems with an incidence of 54% and the highest overall prevalence of overweight was observed in the area of Vojvodina (58%). Obesity, characterized by the enlarged size of fat mass, is associated with changes in adipose tissue function. Adipocytokines derived from adipocytes - leptin, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6), adiponectin and resistin - are involved in the pathogenesis of the cardiometabolic disturbances of obesity. Clinical and epidemiological studies indicate that vitamin D deficiency has been associated with cardiometabolic risk factors such as hypertension, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus and dyslipidemias. In this context, our investigation showed a negative relationship between serum vitamin D levels and anthropometric indicators of obesity (BMI, WC and FAT %) and their activity is especially expressed in visceral fat depots. There was a negative correlation between vitamin D level and leptin and resistin while a positive association with adiponectin concentrations was found. After considering the linear dependence and trend between 25(OH)D level and leptin and resistin, we found that they are at inverse dependence: with higher vitamin D levels, leptin and resistin have a downward trend. Trend estimation showed that increase in vitamin D level is accompanied by intensive increase in adiponectin, an anti-inflammatory product of adipocytes. Since the dysfunctional adipose tissue is a trigger for cardiometabolic disturbances in obese, interventional trials are required to establish whether vitamin D supplementation could be a therapeutic option for improving adipose tissue function and thus prevent obesity-related comorbidities.