Overweight people have a higher Likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation
The research, which reveals a strong link between the genetic variations linked with height and the risk for AFib, is the among the first to show that elevation might be a causal, maybe not correlated, a risk factor for AFib.
Researchers discovered that the danger of AFib increased as a person’s height improved, with each one-inch increase in elevation translating to roughly a three percent gain in the possibility of AFib, independent of other clinical aspects, as compared to those at average height (5 feet and 7 inches).
‘Our findings suggest it might be valuable to integrate height into risk-prediction instruments for AFib,’ explained the study’s lead author Michael Levin, MD, a Cardiovascular Medicine fellow at Penn..
‘While current guidelines suggest against prevalent screening for AFib, our findings show that a specific group of individuals – specifically, very tall patients – may benefit from screening’
AFib, that affects more than 33 million people globally, is a common, abnormal heart rhythm. There are a number of clinical risk factors for developing AFib, including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Observational studies, examining population-level data, have found that taller people seem to have a higher risk of developing AFib.
However, questions exist concerning whether elevation may result in AFib, or whether it’s only a common, insignificant factor.
The authors employed a statistical method that uses genetics to precisely estimate the association between two traits. Their analysis revealed that genetic variations linked with elevation were also strongly connected with Afib, indicating that increased height may be a reason for atrial fibrillation.
This relationship remained strong even after adjusting for traditional AFib risk factors, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, among others.
From there, researchers employed a similar statistical technique to run an individual-level evaluation of almost 7,000 individuals enrolled in the Penn Medicine Biobank.
They found that genetic variants associated with height, and height, are associated with an increased risk of AFib, independent from clinical and echocardiographic risk factors.
‘They also illustrate how we could unite summary-level statistics from substantial published studies using individual-level data from institutional biobanks to our comprehension of the human disorder.’
The findings will be presented on Saturday, Nov. 16, in the American Heart Association’s 2019 Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia.