Electrical abnormalities in heart may link AF to obesity

OBESE people may be able to reduce their risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AF) by losing weight, Australian researchers suggest. 

The researchers from Adelaide University’s Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders are looking at the link between obesity and AF in people, after their discovery in a sheep model that obesity causes electrical abnormalities in the heart. 

“So far we have only been able to show an epidemiological association between obesity and atrial fibrillation,” said Dr Hany Abed, a cardiologist and PhD candidate. 

“Our research showing that obesity changes the electrical tissue in an animal model, predisposing to atrial fibrillation, is a first.” 

Dr Abed said the translational aspect of this finding – whether any of these effects can be reversed in humans by treating the obesity – is well underway. 

“While our group is investigating the