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Hypertension, obesity exert synergistic effect on risk of new-onset atrial fibrillation

06 Oct 2019

Uncontrolled, long-standing hypertension is especially detrimental with respect to the risk of developing new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF), a study finds. Furthermore, the degree and duration of high blood pressure act synergistically with body weight status, such that obese individuals with hypertension have the highest AF risk.

The study population comprised 9,797,418 individuals who underwent a national health check-up. A total of 2,486,705 individuals (25.38 percent) were diagnosed with hypertension, among whom 863,727 (34.73 percent) were unmedicated, 750,354 (30.17 percent) took medication for <5 years and 872,624 (35.09 percent) underwent treatment for 5 years. Among individuals without hypertension, 3,911,896 (53.51 percent) were prehypertensive.

New-onset AF occurred in 196,136 participants over a mean of 8.2 years of follow-up. The risk of new-onset AF increased progressively with the degree of hypertension. The adjusted hazard ratios with nonhypertension as reference were 1.145 with prehypertension, 1.390 with unmedicated hypertension, 1.853 with hypertension with <5 years of medication and 2.344 with hypertension with 5 years of medication.

New-onset AF incidence was also associated with body mass index and waist circumference, with obesity exerting a synergistic effect with hypertension. The greatest risk of new-onset AF was observed in obese people with hypertension on medication ≥5 years.

The present data point to the importance of maintaining adequate blood pressure and body weight for preventing new-onset AF, researchers said.

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Most Read Articles
Pearl Toh, 31 Dec 2019
Adding the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir to usual care speeds up recovery from influenza-like illness by a day compared with usual care alone, with even greater benefits seen in older, sicker patients with comorbidities, according to the ALIC4E study.
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Pearl Toh, 6 days ago
Obeticholic acid significantly improves fibrosis and disease activity in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a chronic liver disease currently with no approved therapy, according to an interim analysis of the landmark REGENERATE* study.
12 Jan 2020
Testosterone treatment may slightly improve sexual functioning and quality of life in men without underlying organic causes of hypogonadism, but it offers little to no benefit for other common symptoms of ageing, according to a study. In addition, long-term efficacy and safety of this therapy remain unknown.