Obesity can trigger atrial fibrillation in seemingly healthy fertile women, according to latest study findings.
Researchers studied a population of around 271,000 Danish women, aged 20-50 years, who had given birth during 2004-2009. They were followed for an average of 4.6 years.
The researchers found that, compared to healthy weight women, the risk of developing atrial fibrillation was two-fold higher in obese women and more than three-fold higher in those who were very obese (see link below).
Lead author Deniz Karasoy, research fellow at the Cardiovascular Research Center Gentofte, a nationwide epidemiologic research unit, said: “We have found that obesity increases the risk of new-onset atrial fibrillation in seemingly healthy fertile women.
“Atrial fibrillation in young individuals with no known risk factors is called ‘lone atrial fibrillation’. Identifying risk factors in young individuals will contribute to understanding the nature of atrial fibrillation. Dietary modifications combined with physical exercise are warranted in obese fertile women to decrease their risk of atrial fibrillation.”
Dr Karasoy added: “The burden of both obesity and atrial fibrillation has clearly intensified, reaching epidemic levels and rising to the top of public health related concerns. Strategies that comprehensively promote weight loss may also decrease the burden of atrial fibrillation.”
The study was presented this week at the European Society of Cardiology annual congress in Munich.