Physicians' Academy for Cardiovascular Education

Lean body mass only anthropometric risk factor for atrial fibrillation

Lean Body Mass Is the Predominant Anthropometric Risk Factor for Atrial Fibrillation

Literature - Fenger-Grøn M, Overvad K, Tjønneland A and Frost L. - JACC 2017; 69(20):2488-2497


As the incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) increases and it is associated with many adverse effects and human and health-economic costs, identification of modifiable risk factors is high desired [1-5]. Although obesity is frequently emphasized as being one of the modifiable risk factors, this association may be largely due to correlations between weight, BMI, waist and hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, fat mass, fat percentage, height and lean body mass [6,7].

In the present study, data from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort was updated (n=55 273) to depict correlations between the 9 above mentioned anthropometric measures and to assess their associations with risk of AF or atrial flutter under mutual adjustment. Median follow-up was 16.9 years.

Main results


All 9 anthropometric measures height, weight, BMI, hip and waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio and bioimpedance-derived fat mass, lean body mass and fat percentage were, as expected, positively associated with AF risk, however correlations between measures were also present. After multiple correction, lean body mass was the predominant anthropometric driver for AF risk, whereas none of the traditional obesity-related measures proved to have any independent influence. This questions the role played by fat in the AF etiology.


Show references

Find this article online at JACC

Share this page with your colleagues and friends: