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ACC: Sustained Weight Loss Cuts A-Fib Burden

Weight loss of >10 percent linked to six-fold increase in odds of arrhythmia-free survival

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) — For obese patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), long-term sustained weight loss is associated with significant reduction in AF burden, according to a study published online March 16 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The research was published to coincide with its presentation at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, held from March 14 to 16 in San Diego.

Rajeev K. Pathak, M.B.B.S., from the University of Adelaide in Australia, and colleagues examined the impact of sustained weight loss on the burden of AF. Data were included for 355 patients with a body mass index of ≥27 kg/m² who were offered weight management in a dedicated clinic. Weight loss was categorized as >10 percent (group 1), 3 to 9 percent (group 2), and <3 percent (group 3). Patients were followed over four years (49 ± 18 months).

At follow-up, the researchers found that AF burden and symptom severity decreased more in group 1 than in groups 2 and 3 (P < 0.001 for all). Weight-loss group and weight fluctuation independently predicted outcome. The probability of arrhythmia-free survival was increased six-fold with weight loss of >10 percent.

“We found that sustained weight loss is achievable in obese patients and that it can significantly reduce the burden of atrial fibrillation,” Pathak said in a statement. “Weight loss also led to favorable changes in cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, and diabetes, along with improvements in the structure and function of the heart.”

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