Relation of Obesity to Outcomes of Hospitalizations for Atrial Fibrillation

Am J Cardiol. 2019 May 1;123(9):1448-1452. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2019.01.051. Epub 2019 Feb 14.


Obesity has been linked with increased incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF), but impact of presence of obesity on outcomes of hospitalizations for AF has not been investigated. We used the National Inpatient Sample database 2010 to 2014 to identify all adult hospitalizations aged ≥18years with a primary diagnosis of AF. Obese patients were identified using the co-morbidity variable for obesity, as defined in National Inpatient Sample databases. Multivariable logistic regression was used to compare in-hospital outcomes (mortality, acute stroke events) between obese and non-obese patients with AF. Of 431, 734 hospitalizations for AF, 66,138 (15.3%) were obese. Obese patients were younger and more likely to be African-Americans compared with non-obese patients. Despite being younger, obese patients had significantly higher prevalence of cardiovascular co-morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, smoking, heart failure, and chronic renal failure (p <0.001 for all). After multivariate risk-adjustment, obese patients had a lower observed in-hospital mortality (0.5% vs 1.0%; unadjusted odds ratio = 0.52, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.46 to 0.58, p <0.001; adjusted odds ratio = 0.83, 95% CI 0.73 to 0.94, p <0.001) and acute stroke events (0.4% vs 0.7%, unadjusted odds ratio = 0. 65, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.73, p < 0.001; adjusted odds ratio = 0.82, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.94) compared with non-obese patients. In conclusion, in this large retrospective analysis of an unselected nationwide cohort of patients hospitalized for AF, obese patients demonstrated lower risk-adjusted odds of in-hospital mortality and stroke events, consistent with an "obesity paradox."

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrial Fibrillation / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality / trends
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Inpatients*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult