Atrial fibrillation and obesity are two major growing epidemics in the United States and globally. Obese people are at the increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation. The contribution of obesity as an independent risk factor for stroke in the setting of atrial fibrillation remains unclear. We tested the hypothesis that non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) patients with increased body mass index (BMI) would be at increased risk for the development of left atrial appendage thrombus (LAAT). Consecutive, anticoagulation naïve patients with NVAF referred for a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) between January 1, 2007 and October 21, 2009 were approached for study participation. All clinical, laboratory, and TEE measurement data were collected prospectively. Within a group of 400 anticoagulation naïve NVAF patients (mean age 63 ± 15 years, 28 % women; 17 % with LAAT) the prevalence of LAAT was similar across all BMI categories (normal 13 %, overweight 19 %, obese 16 %, morbidly obese 16 %; p = 0.71). Despite a higher CHADS<inf>2</inf> score and a higher prevalence of both hypertension and diabetes mellitus, elevated BMI was not an independent predictor of LAAT when analyzed as either a continuous variable, across BMI WHO categories, a dichotomous variable stratified at values above versus below 27 kg/m<sup>2</sup>, or BMI stratified on atrial fibrillation duration. Despite a higher prevalence of major risk factors for thromboembolism, the prevalence of LAAT was not increased in overweight, obese, and morbidly obese patients.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Body mass index
- Left atrial appendage thrombus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine