Obesity and Atrial Fibrillation Prevalence, Pathogenesis, and Prognosis: Effects of Weight Loss and Exercise

Carl J. Lavie, Ambarish Pandey, Dennis H. Lau, Martin A. Alpert, Prash Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

110 Citations (Scopus)


Both obesity and atrial fibrillation (AF) are increasing in epidemic proportions, and both increase the prevalence of cardiovascular disease events. Obesity has adverse effects on cardiovascular hemodynamics and cardiac structure and function, and increases the prevalence of AF, partly related to electroanatomic remodeling in obese patients. However, numerous studies, including in AF, have demonstrated an obesity paradox, where overweight and obese patients with these disorders have a better prognosis than do leaner patients with the same degree of severity of cardiovascular disease/AF. In this paper, the authors discuss special issues regarding AF in obesity, as well as the evidence that despite the presence of an obesity paradox, there are benefits of weight loss, physical activity/exercise training, and increases in cardiorespiratory fitness on the prognosis of obese patients with AF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2022-2035
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2017


  • cardiac arrhythmia
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • fat
  • fitness
  • heart rhythm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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