Looking for another reason to encourage obese patients to try to reduce their weight? Along with obesity, the prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common dysrhythmia, has also been on the increase. Now, an analysis of Framingham Heart Study data suggests that obesity may be a potentially modifiable risk factor for AF. Wang and colleagues studied data from more than 5000 study participants who were followed for an average of 13.7 years. They found that obesity was associated with a 50% increase in the risk of new-onset AF. Further, for both men and women, there was a 4% increase in risk of AF for each 1-unit increase in body mass index. Left atrial dilatation may be responsible for the link between obesity and AF.
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