With obesity slowly donning the garb of an epidemic in countries across the world, a study has meted out a warning for men, saying that overweight males are more likely to develop irregular heartbeat at 50 years of age, nearly a decade earlier than women. Atrial fibrillation – a condition in which the upper chambers of the heart, or atria, quiver instead of beat to move blood effectively – occurred in men at 50 years of age, while women developed the condition at 60 or at older age, the findings showed.
This increase was attributed majorly to a higher body mass index (BMI) in men (31 percent) compared to women (18 percent).Obesity is one of the biggest health problems at present that is rapidly becoming a part of everyone’s life. The rising number of obese people around the world just goes to show how we are allowing a particular lifestyle to dictate us into an unhealthy state of being. “We advise weight reduction for both men and women,” said Christina Magnussen, medical specialist at the University Heart Center in Hamburg, Germany. “As elevated body mass index seems to be more detrimental for men, weight control seems to be essential, particularly in overweight and obese men,” Magnussen added. Further, higher blood levels of C-reactive protein (inflammation marker) were also found to increase the risk in elderly men. All these combined increased the risk of stroke by five times as well as more than tripled a person’s risk of dying by heart-related causes,the researchers said, in the paper published in the journal Circulation. “It’s crucial to better understand modifiable risk factors of atrial fibrillation,” Magnussen said. “If prevention strategies succeed in targeting these risk factors, we expect a noticeable decline in new-onset atrial fibrillation,” he noted. For the study, the team reviewed records of 79,793 people (aged 24 to 97) who were followed for a period of 12.6 to a maximum of 28.2 years. The condition developed in about 24 percent of both men and women by age 90. Obesity can negatively affect most of your organs, make you vulnerable to diabetes, joint pains, arthritis, and make it difficult for women during pregnancy – basically, impact your overall health, especially the heart.