Women with a larger body surface area may have an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, according to research presented at EuroPrevent 2017, the annual congress of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology.

Researchers investigated the link between body surface area (BSA) and the risk of A-fib in more than 1.5 million women who had their first pregnancy at an average age of 28 years.

During the 30-year follow-up period, more than 7,000 women were hospitalized with A-fib. The average age at the time of hospitalization was 49 years.

The team calculated the women’s BSA in square meters (m2) using a standard formula that considers weight and height. The researchers divided the women into four groups based on their BSA: those with a BSA of between 0.97 and 1.61 m2, those with a BSA between 1.61 and 1.71 m2, a third group with a BSA of 1.71 to 1.82 m2, and finally, those with a BSA of 1.82 to 3.02 m2.

In ascending order of BSA, women in the second, third, and fourth groups had a 1.16, 1.55, and 2.61 times higher risk of A-fib compared with the women in the first and lowest BSA group.

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