Obesity and atrial fibrillation: A comprehensive review of the pathophysiological mechanisms and links

Christos A Goudis, Panagiotis Korantzopoulos, Ioannis V Ntalas, Eleftherios M Kallergis, Dimitrios G Ketikoglou
Journal of Cardiology 2015, 66 (5): 361-9
Obesity is a worldwide health problem with epidemic proportions that has been associated with atrial fibrillation (AF). Even though the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms have not been completely elucidated, several experimental and clinical studies implicate obesity in the initiation and perpetuation of AF. Of note, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, coronary artery disease, and obstructive sleep apnea, represent clinical correlates between obesity and AF. In addition, ventricular adaptation, diastolic dysfunction, and epicardial adipose tissue appear to be implicated in atrial electrical and structural remodeling, thereby promoting the arrhythmia in obese subjects. The present article provides a concise overview of the association between obesity and AF, and highlights the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms.

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