Atrial Fibrillation: Effects of Weight Reduction Interview with: Prof. Prashanthan Interview with:
Prof. Prashanthan Sanders
Director, Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders
University of Adelaide | Royal Adelaide Hospital | SAHMRI
NHMRC Practitioner Fellow
Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders
Department of Cardiology | Royal Adelaide Hospital
Adelaide 5000 | Australia What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: Aggressive treatment of risk factors and weight reduced the symptom burden associated with atrial fibrillation. It is therefore important that in a similar manner to how we treat coronary artery disease, in atrial fibrillation there should be management directed at the reasons why these individuals got AF in the first place. Were any of the findings unexpected?

Answer: Yes in some ways but not in others. It seems logical that we have now identified many risk factors to be associated with the development of AF that unless we treat these we cannot expect to curtail the burden of AF. What was a little unexpected was that once atrial fibrillation was established, treating these risk factors could result in regression of the symptoms. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Answer: Management of AF must include the management of weight and risk factors (high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, smoking and alcohol excess) What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Answer: Future research needs to focus on extrapolating these findings to the wider community.


Abed HS, Wittert GA, Leong DP, et al. Effect of Weight Reduction and Cardiometabolic Risk Factor Management on Symptom Burden and Severity in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2013;310(19):2050-2060. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.280521


Last Updated on November 21, 2013 by Marie Benz MD FAAD