Obesity’s role in cardiovascular disease and stroke

Dr. Alexis Simpkins head shot
Dr. Alexis Simpkins

By Todd Taylor

A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) suggests that higher levels of visceral adipose tissue (VAT), a component of total body fat, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Alexis Simpkins, M.D., Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor of neurology in the UF College of Medicine and American Heart Association fellow, co-authored a commentary on this study in JAHA, stressing the importance of body fat assessment and suggesting future research, including broadening the study population, exploring the role of sex and age, and examining VAT and COVID-19.

“The toll of increased stroke and CVD with obesity, along with the recent devastating toll of obesity on the severity of COVID‐19 complications, stresses that an urgent call to action is needed,” the authors write.

Read the commentary in the Journal of the American Heart Association.