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Atrial Fibrillation and Overweight ; Disease of Obesity and Heart

Written by: Martin Winkler

First version: 22 Jul 2008. Latest revision: 08 Aug 2008.

Question:

 

Is there a connection between atrial fibrillation and overweight/obesity?
What kind of heart diseases can you get when you are obese?
What is the disease of obesity and heart?

I am overweight (BMI 34.2, Obesity class 3). During an ECG test my doctor found an atrial fibrillation (heart rhythm disturbance in the atrium). Is there a connection?

Answer:

A new American study Framingham heart study showed as a partial result that there is a connection between obesity (overweight with a so called Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30) and the incidence of atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation (heart rhythm disturbance in the atrium) is a risk factor for a stroke, because little blood clots may form. The patient is usually treated with blood diluting medicine, in order to protect him/her from a stroke.

In the survey a higher risk of getting an atrial fibrillation was found. With every increasing point of the BMI, the risk of getting an atrial fibrillation increases by 4%. The risk of coming down with this disease increases by 52% for obese men and 46% for obese women.

So obesity is the main factor to treat in order to prevent atrial fibrillation. The authors of the study remarked critically that most of the people who try to lose weight with a diet fail. But the study showed as well that it is possible to prevent atrial fibrillation by a combination of nutritional consulting, changing eating behaviour, and physical activity.

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