Obesity and risk of new-onset atrial fibrillation after cardiac surgery.Circulation. 2005 Nov 22; 112(21):3247-55.Circ
New-onset postoperative atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common complication of cardiac surgery that has substantial effects on outcomes. In the general (nonsurgical) adult population, AF has been linked to increasing obesity, which correlates with left atrial enlargement. It is not known whether postoperative AF is similarly linked to obesity.
METHODS AND RESULTS
This was a retrospective analysis of the incidence of AF in terms of body mass index (BMI). A total of 8051 consecutive cardiac surgery patients (1994 to 2004; mean age 64 [SD 11] years; 5372 men [67%]) who were free of any history of preoperative AF or flutter were included in the analysis. This series included 3164 obese patients (39%; median age 62 years) and 4887 nonobese patients (61%; median age 66 years), who were further divided on the basis of BMI (kg/m2) into 6 groups: BMI <22 kg/m2, 22< or =BMI< or =25 kg/m2 (normal), 25<BMI> or =30 kg/m2 (overweight), 30<BMI > or =35 kg/m2 (obese I), 35<BMI> or =40 kg/m2 (obese II), and BMI >40 kg/m2 (obese III). Unadjusted AF incidence was similar in obese and nonobese patients (n=742 [23.5%] versus n=1068 [21.9%], respectively; P=0.099). Covariate-adjusted ORs for AF were systematically greater for larger patients than for patients in the normal group (adjusted OR [95% CI]=1.18 [1.00 to 1.40], 1.36 [1.14 to 1.63], 1.69 [1.35 to 2.11], and 2.39 [1.81 to 3.17] for overweight, obese I, obese II, and obese III, respectively). Other AF predictors included age (adjusted OR=1.52 [95% CI 1.46 to 1.58] per 10 years), mitral valve surgery (adjusted OR=2.42 [95% CI 1.92 to 3.06]), aortic valve surgery (adjusted OR=1.79 [95% CI 1.45 to 2.22]), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (adjusted OR=1.28 [95% CI 1.12 to 1.46]), male gender (adjusted OR=1.24 [95% CI 1.10 to 1.40]), preoperative beta-blocker use (adjusted OR=1.17 [95% CI 1.05 to 1.32]), vascular disease (adjusted OR=1.18 [95% CI 1.05 to 1.32]), white race (adjusted OR=1.33 [95% CI 1.07 to 1.66]), history of arrhythmia other than AF/flutter (adjusted OR=0.80 [95% CI 0.68 to 0.96]), ejection fraction <40% (adjusted OR=1.16 [95% CI 1.03 to 1.31]), left main disease (adjusted OR=1.15 [95% CI 1.00 to 1.32]), and off-pump surgery (adjusted OR=0.61 [95% CI 0.44 to 0.83]). The obesity-AF association was confirmed in 4 1-to-1 propensity-matched obese versus nonobese comparisons and in 2 separate derivation/validation subcohort analyses.
Obesity is an important determinant of new-onset AF after cardiac surgery. Future postoperative AF risk models should incorporate BMI or obesity levels. Studies examining the efficacy of AF-minimizing prophylactic interventions in high-BMI patients, particularly in the elderly, may be warranted.