Researchers now say people who are considered obese are significantly more likely to have an irregular heartbeat according to a recent study . They say that their finding is important because irregular heartbeats can lead to earlier death, even when people are receiving treatments aimed at bringing the heartbeat back to normal.
Researchers say they have found the link between obesity and atrial fibrillation, a common irregular heart rhythm, in a follow-up study of nearly 5,300 people enrolled in an ongoing Heart Study. None had AF at the beginning of the study. Over 14 years, about 525 people developed the condition. Analysis of the data found AF rates went up according to people's weight. Men who were considered obese were 52-percent more likely to develop AF than men of normal weight. Obese women were 46-percent more likely to develop the heart condition.
Thus researchers believe that their findings have both good and bad implications since obesity is a growing problem, more people are likely to develop the potentially deadly heart condition. But since weight loss programs can help people avoid obesity, the potential exists to reduce the incidence of AF.