Washington: Overweight patients treated for a common type of irregular heartbeat are less likely to experience a relapse if they shed those extra pounds, according to a new research.
Researchers have 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 says these findings are significant and will allow him to better treat his patients and prevent long-term cardiac events.
Bunch noted that cardiac ablation, which is a procedure that corrects heart rhythm irregularities, remains the most aggressive way they treat atrial fibrillation. Despite advances in the technology, approximately 30 percent of patients need a repeat procedure to remain atrial fibrillation-free. Both physicians and patients often ask what else can be done to make the procedure more effective and the results from these studies give us a convincing answer.
Atrial fibrillation is a rapid chaotic heartbeat involving the upper two heart chambers, which causes poor blood flow throughout the body. Some of its common causes include high blood pressure, sleep apnea, diabetes, heart attacks, heart failure, inactivity, and heart defects you’re born with.
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 isn’t known.
The study has been presented at the 2015 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. (ANI)