The incidence of recurrence of atrial fibrillation (AF) after ablation increases gradually according to the body mass index, both in short- and long-term follow-up, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the European Heart Rhythm Association, held from April 3 to 5 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Jacob Toennesen, MBBS, from Gentofte University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues used Danish registers to identify all adult patients (9,229 people) who have undergone first-time AF ablation from 2010 to 2018. Relative rates of AF relapse were examined by body weight.
The researchers found that the median age at first-time AF ablation was lower in the morbidly obese group (60 years) than in the normal-weight group (64 years). The number of patients with a CHA₂DS₂VASc score ≥2 was higher in the morbidly obese group (65 percent) than in the normal-weight group (48 percent). At both one-year and five-year follow-up, the risk of recurrent AF increased gradually and significantly in obese groups versus normal-weight patients.
“The strength of the association between high body mass index and recurrent atrial fibrillation after ablation was comparable to the influence of well-known factors such as heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and hypertension, which are typically treated in these patients,” Toennesen said in a statement. “Our study suggests that obese patients should be advised to lose weight before intervention to improve the likelihood of developing arrhythmia afterwards.”
Obese patients should lose weight before the procedure to treat abnormal heart rhythm. More information:
The study was supported by Novo Nordisk.
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