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BMI in Young Males Linked to A-Fib Risk, Outcomes

For those diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, hazard ratios for all-cause mortality, incident heart failure, ischemic stroke increased with higher BMI

TUESDAY, Oct. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Increasing body mass index (BMI) in young males is associated with an increased risk for atrial fibrillation (AF) and with worse outcomes among those diagnosed with AF, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Demir Djekic, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and colleagues conducted a nationwide, register-based cohort study of 1,704,467 men enrolled in compulsory military service in Sweden to examine the role of obesity in the development of AF in young males.

A total of 36,693 cases of AF were recorded during a median follow-up of 32 years. The researchers observed an increase in the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio for AF from 1.06 to 3.72 for individuals with BMI of 20 to <22.5 kg/m2 and among men with BMI of 40.0 to 50.0 kg/m2, respectively, compared with those with BMI of 18.5 to <20.0 kg/m2. For patients diagnosed with AF, there were 3,767 deaths, 3,251 cases of incident heart failure, and 921 cases of ischemic stroke during a median follow-up of six years. For men with baseline BMI >30 kg/m2 versus those with BMI <20 kg/m2, the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for all-cause mortality, incident heart failure, and ischemic stroke were 2.86, 3.42, and 2.34, respectively, in AF-diagnosed men.

“Whether screening for atrial fibrillation in early adulthood among individuals with long-standing obesity and more robust follow-up and initiation of anticoagulants in people with long-standing obesity and atrial fibrillation may improve survival needs to be addressed in future randomized trials,” Djecik said in a statement.

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