Overweight, Obesity May Increase Risk for Sudden and Non-Sudden Cardiac Death

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Overweight and obesity appears to be linked to increased risk for sudden cardiac death.
Overweight and obesity appears to be linked to increased risk for sudden cardiac death.

(HealthDay News) — Overweight and obese individuals are at increased risk for sudden cardiac death and non-sudden cardiac death, according to a study published in The American Journal of Cardiology.

Antti Eranti, MD, from the Päijät-Häme Central Hospital in Lahti, Finland, and colleagues divided a general population cohort of 10 543 middle-aged participants into groups of lean, normal-weight, overweight, and obese participants (BMI, <20.0, 20.0 to 24.9, 25.0 to 29.9, and >30.0 kg/m²). The authors examined the risk for sudden cardiac death associated with BMI, and the risk for sudden cardiac death associated with electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities across BMI categories.

The researchers found that overweight and obese participants were at increased risk for sudden cardiac death (hazard ratios [HRs], 1.33 and 1.79, respectively). The correlation with BMI was similar for the risk for non-sudden cardiac death as for sudden cardiac death. 

In groups of lean, normal-weight, overweight, and obese participants, the HRs associated with ECG abnormalities were 3.03, 1.75, 1.74, and 1.34, respectively; statistical significance was not reached for obese participants. In the normal-weight group only, ECG abnormalities significantly improved integrated discrimination indexes and continuous net reclassification indexes.

"The overweight and obese are at increased risk for [sudden cardiac death] but also for [non-sudden cardiac death], and ECG abnormalities are associated with increased risk of [sudden cardiac death] also in normal-weight subjects presenting with less traditional cardiovascular risk factors," the researchers wrote.

Reference

  1. Eranti A, Aro AL, Kerola T, et al. Body Mass Index as a Predictor of Sudden Cardiac Death and Usefulness of the Electrocardiogram for Risk Stratification. Am J Cardiol. 2016;117(3):388-393. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2015.10.057.
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