Abstract 12397: Obesity and the Risk of Atrial Fibrillation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Background: A number of studies have suggested that obesity is an emerging risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF). Given the dual epidemics of obesity and AF, public health strategies to combat obesity may be of benefit. In the present study, we thus sought to quantify the risk of AF associated with obesity taking into account the totality of recent evidence.
Methods: Electronic databases were searched for published studies up until December 2011. Studies were included if they assessed the incidence or prevalence of AF in relation to body mass index (BMI). Data were pooled using random effects meta-analysis. When data were reported as a series of dose-specific relative risks compared to a reference BMI category, these were transformed into risk estimates per unit of BMI via the Hartemink method to allow pooling. Studies reporting hazard ratios (HR) and odds ratios (OR) were considered separately.
Results: Twenty-nine studies were identified. Four studies were not considered for pooled analysis due to already-included reports from the same study cohort. Three studies did not report sufficient data to convert categorical to continuous relative risks. Of the remaining studies, pooled analysis of eight studies reporting HR data revealed a significant association between BMI and incident AF (HR per unit of BMI 1.053 [95% CI 1.043 to 1.063]). Pooled analysis of fourteen studies reporting OR data similarly revealed a significant association between BMI and prevalent AF (OR per unit of BMI 1.034 [95% CI 1.020 to 1.048]).
Conclusions: For every unit increase in BMI, there is a 5.3% increased risk of developing AF. These findings suggest that weight control may be a reasonable public health strategy to combat the growing AF epidemic.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.