WASHINGTON — New study shows significant increase in quality of life (QoL) among overweight patients following ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF), compared to patients with a lower body mass index (BMI) where no substantial improvement was observed. The study, published in the December edition of HeartRhythm, the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society, reveals an association between BMI and a change in QoL between the pre- and postablation periods in a large AF patient cohort. The study also verifies comparable procedural success rates of ablation in both overweight and lean patients. View the full study.
This study, co-led by Sanghamitra Mohanty, MD, and Andrea Natale, MD, at St. David’s Medical Center (SDMC) in Austin, Texas, is the first to use four different assessment tools to measure QoL in AF patients undergoing catheter ablation, and examined the association between BMI and improvement in QoL scores following ablation in 660 patients. Patients were categorized into two groups: lean or normal with a normal-BMI (BMI < 25) and overweight or obese with a high-BMI (BMI ≥ 25), 79 percent of patients had a high-BMI. Patients were asked to participate in self-administered QoL surveys before and 12 months after the catheter ablation procedure.
While high-BMI patients started with a lower baseline QoL score compared to normal-BMI patients, 12-month postablation QoL scores among the high-BMI group improved significantly in all measures except physical functioning and bodily pain. Specifically, improvement was observed in role limitations due to physical health (27 percent), role limitations due to emotional problem (22.6 percent) and vitality (21.9 percent). The high-BMI group also reported reductions in anxiety and depression levels after ablation procedures. Overall, long-term ablation success was the same in both the normal-BMI group (69 percent) and high-BMI group (63 percent).
“Despite reporting improvement in QoL and comparable procedure-success in obese and overweight patients, this study does not attempt to trivialize the importance of interventions to promote weight loss and adaptation of healthy life style,” said co-lead author Dr. Sanghamitra Mohanty at SDMC, Austin, Texas. “Obesity still remains a potential risk-factor for AF and many other cardio-vascular diseases and active measures should be taken to reverse this potentially modifiable risk factor.”
For more information about this study, please visit www.heartrhythmjournal.com.
About the Heart Rhythm Society
The Heart Rhythm Society is the international leader in science, education and advocacy for cardiac arrhythmia professionals and patients, and the primary information resource on heart rhythm disorders. Its mission is to improve the care of patients by promoting research, education and optimal health care policies and standards. Incorporated in 1979 and based in Washington, DC, it has a membership of heart rhythm professionals in more than 70 countries around the world.
About HeartRhythm Journal
HeartRhythm provides rapid publication of the most important science developments in the field of arrhythmias and cardiovascular electrophysiology (EP). As the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society, HeartRhythm publishes both basic and clinical subject matter of scientific excellence devoted to the EP of the heart and blood vessels, as well as therapy. The journal is the only EP publication serving the entire electrophysiology community from basic to clinical academic researchers, private practitioners, technicians, industry and trainees. HeartRhythm Journal has an impact factor of 4.246 (as of 2011) and ranks 23rd out of 114 cardiovascular medicine journals worldwide by the Institute for Scientific Information, remaining the number one specialty journal in cardiology. It is also the official publication of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Society.
Contact: Kennesha Baldwin
Heart Rhythm Society