Author Affiliation: Clinical Electrophysiology
Section, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States; nearly
65% of the population is overweight and nearly 31% is obese.1 Similarly,
atrial fibrillation (AF) is reaching epidemic proportions,2 with
nearly 2.5 million Americans currently affected. As the population ages, it
is estimated that by the year 2050 more than 5 million Americans will have
AF.3 Obesity is clearly associated with increased
prevalence of hypertension, coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, left
ventricular hypertrophy, left atrial enlargement, and congestive heart failure.4,5 In turn, hypertension, left atrial
enlargement, and congestive heart failure are all thought to be important
contributors to the development of AF.3,6 Recently,
obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs in about 40% of obese individuals, has
been found to be strongly associated with AF.7 Despite
these biological links, a clear association between obesity and risk of AF
has not been established.
Coromilas J. Obesity and Atrial Fibrillation: Is One Epidemic Feeding the Other? JAMA. 2004;292(20):2519–2520. doi:10.1001/jama.292.20.2519
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