Weight gain might increase Afib risk

  • Jones NR & al.
  • Heart
  • 22 Jun 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Although weight gain might increase Afib risk, nonsurgical weight loss seems to have little effect, according to this meta-analysis. 

Why this matters

  • With obesity prevalence increasing, avoiding weight gain might be the best approach to Afib risk reduction, rather than trying to lose weight after the fact. 

Key results

  • Pooled data from 10 studies including 108,996 people.
  • With 5% weight gain:
    • Afib incidence increased by 13%;
    • HR, 1.13 (95% CI, 1.04-1.23; 95% prediction interval, 0.88-1.44);
    • I2, 70%; n>20,411 in 5 studies, unknown in 1; and
    • Most participants had overweight or obesity at the outset.
  • With 5% weight loss: 
    • No change in Afib incidence;
    • HR, 1.04 (95% CI, 0.94-1.30; prediction interval, 0.77-1.42); and
    • I2, 73%; 5 studies, n=40,704.

Study design

  • Meta-analysis of 10 studies (9 cohort, 1 randomized controlled trial).
  • Outcome: risk for incident Afib relative to weight change.
  • Funding: UK National Institute for Health Research.

Limitations

  • Pooling across weight classes might have diluted some estimates.
  • High statistical heterogeneity among studies.