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Obesity linked to atrial fibrillation

Obesity is associated with atrial enlargement and ventricular diastolic dysfunction, both known predictors of atrial fibrillation.

Obesity linked to atrial fibrillation

Obesity is associated with atrial enlargement and ventricular diastolic dysfunction, both known predictors of atrial fibrillation (AF). However, it is unclear whether obesity is a risk factor for AF. Obesity may raise the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF), i.e. abnormal heartbeat that can lead to stroke and early death. Researchers from Boston, USA found that obesity may increase the risk of AF by 50 per cent approximately. The researchers studied 5,282 middle-aged adults for 13 years, during which 526 developed atrial fibrillation, due to changes in the structure of the heart as a result of they being overweight. Obesity can cause the heart's left atrium, the upper chamber, which receives oxygenated blood circulated from the lungs, to become dilated and beat abnormally fast, as a result disturbing the heart's rhythm. AF causes the patient to be stuck to a lifetime regime of taking medications to prevent stroke and the other complications of atrial fibrillation.
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Uncontrolled AF associated with obesity appears to raises the risk of stroke up to five-fold and doubles the risk of death. These prospective data raise the possibility that interventions to promote normal weight may reduce the risk of AF.
Journal of the American Medical Association ,
November 2004


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