Relation of Body Mass Index to Development of Atrial Fibrillation in Hispanics, Blacks, and Non-Hispanic Whites

Eric Shulman, Jay J. Chudow, Tina Shah, Krina Shah, Ariel Peleg, Dmitriy Nevelev, Faraj Kargoli, Lynn Zaremski, Cecilia Berardi, Andrea Natale, Jorge Romero, Luigi Di Biase, John Fisher, Andrew Krumerman, Kevin J. Ferrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


No previous studies have examined the interaction between body mass index (BMI) and race/ethnicity with the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF). We retrospectively followed 48,323 persons free of AF (43% Hispanic, 37% black, and 20% white; median age 60 years) for subsequent incident AF (ascertained from electrocardiograms). BMI categories included very severely underweight (BMI <15 kg/m2), severely underweight (BMI 15.1 to 15.9 kg/m2), underweight (BMI 16 to 18.4 kg/m2), normal (BMI 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2), overweight (BMI 25.0 to 29.9 kg/m2), moderately obese (BMI 30 to 34.9 kg/m2), severely obese (BMI 35 to 39.9 kg/m2), and very severely obese (BMI >40 kg/m2). Cox regression analysis controlled for baseline covariates: heart failure, gender, age, treatment for hypertension, diabetes, PR length, systolic blood pressure, left ventricular hypertrophy, socioeconomic status, use of β blockers, calcium channel blockers, and digoxin. Over a follow-up of 13 years, 4,744 AF cases occurred. BMI in units of 10 was associated with the development of AF (adjusted hazard ratio 1.088, 95% confidence interval 1.048 to 1.130, p <0.01). When stratified by race/ethnicity, non-Hispanic whites compared with blacks and Hispanics had a higher risk of developing AF, noted in those whom BMI classes were overweight to severely obese. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that there exists a relation between obesity and race/ethnicity for the development of AF. Non-Hispanic whites had a higher risk of developing AF compared with blacks and Hispanics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1177-1181
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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