Diabetes, obesity and atrial fibrillation: Epidemiology, mechanisms and interventions

O. Asghar, U. Alam, S. A. Hayat, R. Aghamohammadzadeh, A. M. Heagerty, Rayaz Malik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Citations (Scopus)


Body mass index (BMI) is a powerful predictor of death, type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality. Over the last few decades, we have witnessed a global rise in adult obesity of epidemic proportions. Similarly, there has been a parallel increase in the incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF), itself a significant cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This may be partly attributable to advances in the treatment of coronary heart disease (CHD) and heart failure (HF) improving life expectancy, however, epidemiological studies have demonstrated an independent association between obesity, diabetes and AF, suggesting possible common pathophysiological mechanisms and risk factors. Indeed, cardiac remodeling, haemodynamic alterations, autonomic dysfunction, and diastolic dysfunction have been reported in obese and diabetic cohorts. Moreover, diabetic cardiomyopathy is characterized by an adverse structural and functional cardiac phenotype, which may predispose to the development of AF. In this review, we discuss the pathophysiological and mechanistic relationships between obesity, diabetes and AF, and some of the challenges posed in the management of this high-risk group of individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Atrial Fibrillation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this

Asghar, O., Alam, U., Hayat, S. A., Aghamohammadzadeh, R., Heagerty, A. M., & Malik, R. (2013). Diabetes, obesity and atrial fibrillation: Epidemiology, mechanisms and interventions. Journal of Atrial Fibrillation, 6(2), 47-55.