Obesity, self-reported symptom severity, and quality of life in people with atrial fibrillation: A community-based cross-sectional survey.
Koutoukidis DA., Jones NR., Taylor CJ., Casadei B., Aveyard P.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Intentional weight loss may reduce symptom severity of atrial fibrillation (AF) in relatively young AF patients with overweight. We examined whether symptom severity and quality of life (QoL) are associated with weight status in the general population with AF. METHODS AND RESULTS: Patients with electrocardiogram-confirmed AF completed validated questionnaires: the EuroQol 5 Dimensions QoL questionnaire and the Toronto Atrial Fibrillation Severity Scale (AFSS). The AFSS assessed the AF burden scoring on AF-related symptoms and the total AF burden measured as a combination of duration, frequency, and severity of an irregular heartbeat. Generalized liner models examined the association of body mass index (BMI) with AF severity and QoL adjusting for confounders. Between 2018 and 2019, 882 of 1901 (46%) mailed questionnaires were returned completed. Participants had a mean (SD) age of 74 (10) years old and a BMI of 27.4 (5.6) kg/m2. Sixteen percent reported having never experienced an irregular heartbeat. A 5 kg/m2 higher BMI was associated with a 0.65 (95%CI: 0.25 to 1.06) higher symptom score, where 3 points represent a clinically relevant change in state. A 5 kg/m2 higher BMI was associated with a -1.61 (95%CI: -2.72 to -0.50) lower QoL score. The coefficient of the total AF burden for a 5 kg/m2 higher BMI was 0.17 (95% CI: -0.01 to 0.68). CONCLUSION: BMI was positively associated with symptoms and negatively associated with one of the two measures of QoL, but not with the total AF burden. However, the strength of association was small and not clinically meaningful.