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‘Normal body types show more irregular heartbeats than obese people’
  • By Constance Williams
  • Published 2017.07.18 16:07
  • Updated 2017.07.18 16:07
  • comments 1

Two researchers have found if there is a possibility of developing hypertension and diabetes while maintaining healthy normal body shape, the incidence of atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) is higher than that of obese body type.

Professor Jung Bo-young정보영 of Severance Hospital세브란스병원 and Professor Park Jun-beom박준범 of Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital이대목동병원 have published the results of their epidemiological study, indicating that Asians with standard body types have a higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation when they are in the pre-stage of hypertension and diabetes than those with obesity.

The study is drawing significant attention because it upset the existing theory that obese type is more vulnerable to hypertension and diabetes, and the rate of the atrial fibrillation, which is a related disease, is high.

Professors Jung Bo-young (left) and Park Jun-beom have published their epidemiological studies, which compared irregular heartbeats among normal body people and obese types with the likelihood of hypertension and diabetes.

The study, which identified the risks of hypertension and diabetes mellitus in a large-scale epidemiologic study and identified the characteristics of Westerners and Asians for the first time in the world, appeared in the recent issue of internationally recognized "European Heart Journal."

The researchers analyzed an enormous amount of data from 410,000 people who received health screenings from the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) from 2003 to 2008.

The researchers surveyed 227,102 healthy patients without cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension, including atrial fibrillation, by 2013. They focused on hypertension and diabetes, two of the leading risk factors for atrial fibrillation, and analyzed the risk of both diseases in healthy and obese individuals.

The aim of the study is to investigate the prevalence of atrial fibrillation in patients with atrial fibrillation. The criteria for pre-hypertension used were 120-139 mmHg systolic, 80-89 mmHg diastolic (less than 120 mmHg normal phase systolic, 80 mmHg diastolic), and the pre-diabetic phase was 100- 125 mg / dl (normal value <100 mg / dl).

The results showed that the standard body group with body mass index (BMI) of 25 or less had a higher rate of atrial fibrillation than the obese group. This defied the result of many studies and beliefs that associate the obesity type with hypertension and diabetes has a far higher likelihood of cardiovascular disease, including atrial fibrillation than those with normal body shape.

The research team found that the healthy body group with a body mass index of 25 or less had an 11 percent higher risk of atrial fibrillation when pre-hypertensive group than the obese body group with BMI of 25 or more.

Also, when the fasting blood sugar disorder occurs, the risk of heart attack is 16 percent higher than that of obese body type. The prevalence of atrial fibrillation was even 27 percent greater in normal body shape people with prehypertension and fasting glucose compared to obese subjects.

"To know the cause of increased risk of atrial fibrillation among Asians with a low obesity population compared to Westerners, we analyzed various risk factors based on the BMI," Professor Jung said. He reported that the mortality rate was also higher in the normal body type group than in the obese class group regarding the incidence of cardiovascular disease and mortality when the pre-hypertension group and the fasting blood sugar disorder were accompanied.

"This study suggests that the prevalence of atrial fibrillation in the pre-diabetes group, such as prehypertension, fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance, and the necessity of professional treatment,” Professor Park said.

The higher incidence of atrial fibrillation in the standard body type group, unlike Westerners, might have various reasons, including the racial characteristics such as possessing the single genetic cause of atrial fibrillation, among Koreans, the report said, adding it is necessary to find the reasons through follow-up researchers.


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