Atrial fibrillation is a rapid chaotic heartbeat involving the upper two heart chambers, which causes poor blood flow throughout the body. Cardiac ablation is a procedure that corrects heart rhythm irregularities. It is the most aggressive way to treat atrial fibrillation. Despite advances in the technology, approximately 30% of patients need a repeat procedure to remain atrial fibrillation-free.
Overweight patients treated for this common type of irregular heartbeat are less likely to experience a relapse if they shed those extra pounds, revealed a new research.
‘Researchers have observed that recurrence of atrial fibrillation increases in patients who are overweight and decreases when patients are able to lose weight and keep it off, following a cardiac ablation.’
Researchers have long known that obesity is also a common cause of atrial fibrillation, and a dominant driver in its recurrence, but the specifics on what weight limit has the most negative effects or how much weight needs to be lost and kept off is not known. They found that the recurrence of atrial fibrillation increases in patients who are overweight and decreases when patients are able to lose weight and keep it off, following a cardiac ablation.
Though the outcomes of these studies seem like common sense, lead researcher Jared Bunch said, "These findings are significant and will allow us to better treat patients and prevent long-term cardiac events."
The study has been presented at the 2015 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.