No previous studies have examined the interaction between body mass index (BMI) and race/ethnicity with the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF). We retrospectively followed 48,323 persons free of AF (43% Hispanic, 37% black, and 20% white; median age 60 years) for subsequent incident AF (ascertained from electrocardiograms). BMI categories included very severely underweight (BMI <15 kg/m2), severely underweight (BMI 15.1 to 15.9 kg/m2), underweight (BMI 16 to 18.4 kg/m2), normal (BMI 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2), overweight (BMI 25.0 to 29.9 kg/m2), moderately obese (BMI 30 to 34.9 kg/m2), severely obese (BMI 35 to 39.9 kg/m2), and very severely obese (BMI >40 kg/m2). Cox regression analysis controlled for baseline covariates: heart failure, gender, age, treatment for hypertension, diabetes, PR length, systolic blood pressure, left ventricular hypertrophy, socioeconomic status, use of β blockers, calcium channel blockers, and digoxin. Over a follow-up of 13 years, 4,744 AF cases occurred. BMI in units of 10 was associated with the development of AF (adjusted hazard ratio 1.088, 95% confidence interval 1.048 to 1.130, p <0.01). When stratified by race/ethnicity, non-Hispanic whites compared with blacks and Hispanics had a higher risk of developing AF, noted in those whom BMI classes were overweight to severely obese. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that there exists a relation between obesity and race/ethnicity for the development of AF. Non-Hispanic whites had a higher risk of developing AF compared with blacks and Hispanics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine