New Study Finds Link Between Obesity and Atrial Fibrillation
There appears to be an association between obesity and the risk
of developing the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation, according
to a study of participants in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood
Institute's (NHLBI) Framingham Heart Study. The study is published
in the November 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical
The investigators studied 5,282 Framingham participants who did
not have AF when the study began. These participants were divided
into three categories of body mass index (BMI): normal, overweight,
and obese. Over a period of almost 14 years, the scientists found
that the incidence of atrial fibrillation increased across BMI for
both men and women.
These research findings should be confirmed by other observational
studies, according to Daniel Levy, M.D., director of the Framingham
Heart Study and a study co-author. According to Levy, if the study
is validated, weight control, in addition to reducing risk for hypertension,
diabetes, and other obesity-related complications, may also lower
risk for AF.
To arrange an interview with Dr. Levy, please call the NHLBI Communications
Office at (301) 496-4236.
NHLBI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the
Federal Government's primary agency for biomedical and behavioral
research. NIH is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. NHLBI press releases and fact sheets, including
information on arrhythmias, can be found online at www.nhlbi.nih.gov.