Obesity Increases Atrial Fibrillation Risk For Blacks After Bypass Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jimmy T. Efird, PhD, MSc Director

Center for Epidemiology and Outcomes Research East Carolina Heart Institute
Brody School of Medicine
East Carolina University NC

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Efird: While postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) is a common complication following coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), little is known about the association among obesity, POAF, and race in this population. Recently, increased body mass index (BMI) has been shown to be a stronger predictor for incident atrial fibrillation (AF) in blacks compared with whites in the general population. However, a similar finding has not been examined in patients undergoing CABG.

In this study of 13,594 patients undergoing CABG at the East Carolina Heart Institute, risk for postoperative atrial fibrillation increased with obesity severity among black not white patients, after adjusting for demographics and prior medical history/comorbidities.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Efird:     Our findings are important as black patients who develop postoperative atrial fibrillation are at increased risk for mortality following CABG. Furthermore, identifying high risk groups for POAF will allow for the development of targeted interventions to reduce mortality, hospital readmissions, and total hospital costs among CABG patients.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Efird: Inflammation has been shown to play a role in obesity and cardiovascular disease. The collection of inflammatory biomarkers (e.g., C-reactive protein, IL-6, TNF-α, etc.) associated with obesity and  postoperative atrial fibrillation will benefit future research efforts. Additionally, newly identified genetic polymorphisms, such as rs10504554 (LY96) and rs2200733 (PITX2), have been associated with increased POAF risk and examining these in the context of the current research may shed light on the associations observed in this study. 

Medical Research: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Efird:      Lead authors on this publication were Drs. Jimmy T. Efird, Preeti Gudimella, and Ethan J. Anderson from the East Carolina Heart Institute, College of Nursing, and Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at East Carolina University. Additional authors included Wesley T. O’Neal, MD; William F. Griffin, MD; Hope Landrine, PhD; Linda C. Kindell, BSN, RN; Stephen W. Davies, MD, MPH; Daniel F. Sarpong, PhD; Jason B. O’Neal, MD; Patricia Crane, PhD, RN, FAHA, FNAP; Margaret A. Nelson, PhDc; T. Bruce Ferguson, MD; W. Randolph Chitwood, MD; Alan P. Kypson, MD.


Comparison of Risk of Atrial Fibrillation among Black versus White Patients Following Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

Efird, Jimmy T. et al. American Journal of Cardiology , Volume 0 , Issue 0 ,

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2015.12.056 January 14, 2016

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Jimmy T. Efird, PhD (2016). Obesity Increases Atrial Fibrillation Risk For Blacks After Bypass Surgery