Abdominal obesity is associated with a higher risk for new-set atrial fibrillation in Asian adults who are not obese, according to findings published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
“Waist circumference and waist-to-hip circumference ratio are also associated with higher risk of AF,” Yong-Soo Baek, MD, of the division of cardiology at Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, and colleagues wrote. “Visceral adiposity is associated with incident [CVD] after adjustment for clinical risk factors and generalized adiposity. Previous studies, however, did not show additional risk of AF by abdominal obesity beyond BMI.”
Baek and colleagues analyzed 501,690 adults (mean age, 48 years; 50% women) without baseline AF from the National Sample Cohort in Korea. BMI and waist circumference were evaluated, with abdominal obesity defined as waist circumference of at least 90 cm for men and at least 80 cm for women.
During mean follow-up of 4 years, 3,443 participants developed AF (41.6% women).
Compared with participants with normal BMI, AF risk was elevated in underweight individuals (HR = 1.21; 95% CI, 1.01-1.45), overweight individuals (HR = 1.14; 95% CI, 1.06-1.23) and obese individuals (HR = 1.52; 95% CI, 1.3-1.78).
In adjusted models, AF risk increased by 18% (HR = 1.18; 95% CI, 1.1-1.27) in those with abdominal obesity. There was an increased risk for AF in those with abdominal obesity regardless of BMI, except for the obese group.
“Although AF incidence gradually increased as BMI or [waist circumference] increased, abdominal obesity as quantified by [waist circumference] is associated with AF incidence, even after adjustments of other risk factors in participants without general obesity. This finding suggests that AF risk may be more affected by [waist circumference], and decreasing abdominal obesity may reduce the population burden of AF in nonobese Asian persons.” – by Cassie Homer
Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.