Obesity in Young Women Doubles Chances of Developing A-Fib
A-Fib.com is happy to introduce a new volunteer writer, Dr. Lynn Perryman Haye, Ph.D. from Huntington Beach, CA. She recently had a successful catheter ablation at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian Heart and Vascular Institute by Dr. Michael Panutich. Lynn is a retired licensed clinical Psychologist. Thanks, Lynn, for this excellent report and for adding a much-needed woman’s touch to our A-Fib.com reports.
A 2012 Danish study found that obese, fertile younger women had a 2 to 3-fold higher risk of developing A-Fib than their normal weight counterparts. Previously it was unknown whether obesity increased the risk of A-Fib in young people without other risk factors. This study adjusted for other risk factors while analyzing the effect of weight on the development of new-onset A-Fib. These findings suggest that strategies to promote weight loss may also decrease the burden of A-Fib.
The study employed the use of the Body Mass Index*(BMI) to categorize the women according to weight. For example, a 5’4” woman would have the following BMI calculations:
|Very obese||>35||>204 lbs.|
Statistical analysis revealed a hazard ratio of 2.04 in the obese women or a 2-fold greater risk than normal weight women of developing A-Fib. A hazard ratio 3.50 in the very obese women showed an even greater 3-fold risk of developing A-Fib compared to normal weight women. These findings were significant and add another potential risk factor for ‘Lone A-Fib’.
This was a unique study that analyzed the data from a national Danish Registry. The research identified 271,203 women (aged 20-50, mean age of 30.6 years) from a nationwide register of childbirths and hospitalizations in Denmark. The women had all given birth between 2004 – 2009 and did not have prior histories of A-Fib. The women were followed for an average of 4.6 years during which time 110 were hospitalized for first-time A-Fib. Due to the nature of the data base, the investigators were able to adjust for age, comorbidities, hyperthyroidism, smoking status, pharmacotherapy and previous use of beta-blockers during pregnancy. However, they were unable to adjust for either alcohol use or diagnoses of sleep apnea either at baseline or during follow-up.
The primary researcher, Dr. Deniz Karasoy, concluded that; “….obesity increases the risk of new-onset atrial fibrillation in seemingly healthy fertile women.” He states that; “Dietary modifications combined with physical exercise are warranted in obese fertile women to decrease their risk of atrial fibrillation.”
|English||BMI = Weight in Pounds / ( Height in inches x Height in inches ) x 703|
|Metric||BMI = Weight in Kilograms / ( Height in Meters x Height in Meters )|
(A special thanks to David Holzman for calling our attention to this article and its importance.)
LYNN HAYE, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and former A-Fib patient. She studies and writes about current trends in the treatment and diagnosis of atrial fibrillation and has a special interest in women’s health issues. Dr. Haye and her family live in Orange County, CA.
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Last updated: Sunday, February 15, 2015