Catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation in patients with obesity

Yong Mei Cha, Paul A. Friedman, Samuel J. Asirvatham, Win Kuang Shen, Thomas M. Munger, Robert F. Rea, Peter A. Brady, Arshad Jahangir, Kristi H. Monahan, David O. Hodge, Ryan A. Meverden, Bernard J. Gersh, Stephen C. Hammill, Douglas L. Packer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Background Obesity is a risk factor for atrial fibrillation and other cardiovascular conditions. Our objective was to determine whether catheter-based ablation effectively treated atrial fibrillation in obese patients. Methods and Results Five hundred twenty-three consecutive patients with symptomatic, medication-refractory atrial fibrillation underwent catheter ablation. Patients were grouped by body mass index (lean, <25 kg/m2; overweight, 25 to 29.9 kg/m2; obese, <30 kg/m2). Outcome and quality of life were measured with a general health survey (Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form General Health Survey [SF-36]); patients were assessed before ablation and at 3 and 12 months after the procedure. Two hundred twenty-eight study patients (44%) were overweight, and 201 (38%) were obese. Twelve months after curative ablation, 72% of patients were free of atrial fibrillation without the use of antiarrhythmic agents; 84% were arrhythmia free when those receiving medication were included. Atrial fibrillation was eliminated in 75%, 72%, and 70% of the lean, overweight, and obese patients, respectively, at 12 months (P>0.41, trend test). SF-36 scores were lower for patients with higher body mass index (P<0.05) at baseline. SF-36 scores improved in every functional domain for all body mass index groups after ablation. The mean SF-36 total physical score increased from 59±20 at baseline to 77±19 in 12 months (P<0.001). The total mental health score improved from 66±18 to 79±16 in 12 months (P <0.001). Conclusions Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation was effective in obese patients. Coexistence of atrial fibrillation and obesity indicated lower SF-36 scores, but the improvement in quality of life was consistent across all body mass index categories. (Circulation. 2008;117:2583-2590.)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2583-2590
Number of pages8
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 20 2008


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Catheter ablation
  • Obesity
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation in patients with obesity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this