(HealthDay News) — Incremental increases in BMI are associated with excess risk for incident, postoperative and post-ablation atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a review published in JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology.

Christopher X. Wong, MBB., from the University of Adelaide in Australia, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to quantify the magnitude of the correlation between incremental increases in BMI and development of incident, postoperative and post-ablation AF. 

Data were included from 51 studies involving 626,603 individuals.

The researchers found that for every 5-unit BMI increase there were greater excess risks for incident AF in cohort and case-control studies (ORs=1.29 and 1.19, respectively). For every 5-unit increase in BMI, greater excess risks for postoperative and post-ablation AF were identified (ORs=1.10 and 1.13, respectively).

“Incremental increases in BMI are associated with a significant excess risk of AF in different clinical settings,” the researchers wrote. 

“By providing a comprehensive and reliable quantification of the relationship between incremental increases in obesity and AF across different clinical settings, our findings highlight the potential for even moderate reductions in population body mass indices to have a significant impact in mitigating the rising burden of AF.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.


  1. Wong CX et al. JACC Clin Electrophysiol. 2015;doi:10.1016/j.jacep.2015.04.004.