Obesity triggers AF in fertile women

Obesity triggers atrial fibrillation in fertile women, according to research presented today at the ESC Congress 2012 by Dr Deniz Karasoy from Denmark.

Atrial fibrillation and obesity are among the largest public health related challenges in the western world today. Atrial fibrillation is the commonest and is associated with increased mortality and morbidity. Previous studies have demonstrated that obesity increases the risk of new-onset atrial fibrillation in individuals with known risk factors for developing atrial fibrillation such as advanced age or cardiovascular comorbidity.

Atrial fibrillation is rare in young, healthy individuals and precipitating factors remain controversial. A growing body of evidence suggests that , inflammation, obstructive sleep apnea, , and excessive physical exercise may cause atrial fibrillation in these individuals. However, it is unknown whether obesity increases the risk of atrial fibrillation in young people without other risk factors. The aim of this study was to use the unique opportunity provided by the consistency of nationwide registers of childbirth and hospitalization in Denmark to examine the risk of atrial fibrillation related hospitalizations with respect to (BMI) among .

The present study was a register-based nationwide cohort study, comprising a population of approximately 271,000 seemingly healthy Danish women aged 20-50 years who had given birth during 2004-2009. They were followed for an average of 4.6 years.

The researchers adjusted the results for age, comorbidities, smoking status and pharmacotherapy received during pregnancy. They found that compared to healthy weight women with a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5-25 kg/m2, the risk of developing atrial fibrillation was 2-fold higher in obese (BMI: 30-35 kg/m2) and more than 3-fold higher in very obese (BMI > 35 kg/m2) women.

The hazard ratio for was 2.04 (CI=1.13-3.69; p=0.01) and for very obese women was 3.50 (CI=1.86-6.58; p<0.0001).

"We have found that obesity increases the risk of new-onset atrial fibrillation in seemingly healthy fertile women," said Dr Karasoy, a research fellow at the Cardiovascular Research Center Gentofte, which is a highly specialized center in nationwide epidemiologic research in Denmark.

He added: "The burden of both obesity and atrial fibrillation has clearly intensified, reaching epidemic levels and rising to the top of public health related concerns. Strategies that comprehensively promote weight loss may also decrease the burden of atrial fibrillation."

He continued: "Atrial fibrillation in young individuals with no known risk factors is called 'lone atrial fibrillation'. Identifying risk factors in young individuals will contribute to understanding the nature of atrial fibrillation. Dietary modifications combined with are warranted in obese fertile women to decrease their risk of ."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rheumatoid arthritis linked to irregular heart rhythm

Mar 08, 2012

People with rheumatoid arthritis are at a greater risk of irregular heart rhythm (known as atrial fibrillation) and stroke compared with the general population, finds a study published in the British Medical Journal today. ...

Osteoporosis drug may be associated with irregular heartbeat

Apr 28, 2008

Alendronate, a medication used to prevent fractures in women with osteoporosis, may be associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, a type of abnormal heart rhythm, according to a report in the April 28 issue ...

Recommended for you

Adrenal sex hormone level may predict heart disease risk

12 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Blood levels of the adrenal sex hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate (DHEA-S) may predict an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in elderly men, according to a study ...

Researchers aim to simplify life saving drug

Oct 29, 2014

Heparin, the life saving blood thinner used in major surgeries and treatment of heart diseases, is a complicated drug but a research team from the University of British Columbia has set out to make its use a lot safer by ...

Frequent readmissions, high costs after cardiac arrest

Oct 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—Frequent readmissions and high inpatient costs are seen among older survivors of in-hospital cardiac arrest, according to a study published online Oct. 28 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality an ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.