Impact of body mass index on mortality and hospitalisation of patients with atrial fibrillation

Jocasta Ball, Maja Lisa Løchen, Melinda J. Carrington, Joshua F. Wiley, Simon Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Atrial fibrillation represents a substantial clinical and public health issue. The definitive impact of body mass index on prognosis of patients with chronic (persistent or permanent) atrial fibrillation remains undetermined. Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate the association of body mass index with health outcomes (mortality and re-hospitalisation) of patients with chronic atrial fibrillation. Methods: Using data from the Standard versus Atrial Fibrillation spEcific managemenT strategY (SAFETY) trial (a randomised controlled trial of home-based, atrial fibrillation-specific disease management), we performed post-hoc analyses of mortality and re-hospitalisation outcomes during minimum 24-month follow-up according to baseline body mass index profile. Results: Of 297 participants (mean age 71±11 years, 47% female, mean body mass index 29.6±6.7 kg/m 2 ), 35.0% of participants were overweight (body mass index 25.0–29.9 kg/m 2 ) and 43.1% were obese (body mass index≥30 kg/m 2 ). During follow-up, n=42 died including 16/65 (24.6%) classified as normal body mass index, 16/104 (15.4%) classified as overweight and 10/128 (7.8%) classified as obese. Increasing body mass index was not associated with increased mortality but was associated with re-hospitalisation due to cardiovascular disease with greater length-of-stay (odds ratio 1.05; 95% confidence interval 1.00–1.09, p=0.032). Obese individuals experienced increased unplanned admissions compared to overweight individuals (incidence rate ratio 0.71; 95% confidence interval 0.53–0.96, p=0.028), and increased cardiovascular-related (incidence rate ratio 0.58; 95% confidence interval 0.39–0.86, p=0.007) and all-cause admissions (incidence rate ratio 0.63; 95% confidence interval 0.45–0.89, p=0.008) compared to those classified as normal body mass index. Conclusion: Overweight and obesity were not associated with survival in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation but were associated with more frequent hospital care and prolonged stay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-636
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • body mass index
  • mortality
  • re-hospitalisation


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