Substantial growth in the prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) is driven in part by the obesity epidemic. Systemic inflammation, diastolic dysfunction, autonomic tone abnormalities, and atrial enlargement have all been linked with obesity and also shown to promote the development of AF. Obesity directly affects atrial substrates and a direct association has been shown between fat stores and rates of AF.1,2
As shown in the slides above, the excess risk for AF that is conferred with incremental increases in obesity is a dangerous public health issue.
- Abed HS, Wittert GA, Leong DP, et al. Effect of weight reduction and cardiometabolic risk factor management on symptom burden and severity in patients with atrial fibrillation: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2013;310:2050-2060.
- Magnani JW, Hylek EM, Apovian CM. Obesity begets atrial fibrillation: a contemporary summary. Circulation. 2013;128:401-405.
- Huxley RR, Lopez FL, Folsom AR, et al; Absolute and attributable risks of atrial fibrillation in relation to optimal and borderline risk factors: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Circulation. 2011;123:1501-1508.