Prevalence and Impact of Poorly Controlled Modifiable Risk Factors Among Patients Who Underwent Atrial Fibrillation Ablation

Kara Stout, Muaaz Almerstani, Rees Adomako, David Shin, Ahmad Aroudaky, Hannah Tandon, Nmair Alziadin, John William Schleifer, Jason Payne, Arthur Easley, Faris Khan, John Windle, Neha Goyal, Shane Tsai, Daniel Anderson, Thoetchai Peeraphatdit, Niyada Naksuk

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1 Scopus citations


Managing atrial fibrillation (AF) risk factors (RFs) improves ablation outcomes in obese patients. However, real-world data, including nonobese patients, are limited. This study examined the modifiable RFs of consecutive patients who underwent AF ablation at a tertiary care hospital from 2012 to 2019. The prespecified RFs included body mass index (BMI) ≥30 kg/m2, >5% fluctuation in BMI, obstructive sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure noncompliance, uncontrolled hypertension, uncontrolled diabetes, uncontrolled hyperlipidemia, tobacco use, alcohol use higher than the standard recommendation, and a diagnosis-to-ablation time (DAT) >1.5 years. The primary outcome was a composite of arrhythmia recurrence, cardiovascular admissions, and cardiovascular death. In this study, a high prevalence of preablation modifiable RFs was observed. More than 50% of the 724 study patients had uncontrolled hyperlipidemia, a BMI ≥30 mg/m2, a fluctuating BMI >5%, or a delayed DAT. During a median follow-up of 2.6 (interquartile range 1.4 to 4.6) years, 467 patients (64.5%) met the primary outcome. Independent RFs were a fluctuation in BMI >5% (hazard ratio [HR] 1.31, p = 0.008), diabetes with A1c ≥6.5% (HR 1.50, p = 0.014), and uncontrolled hyperlipidemia (HR 1.30, p = 0.005). A total of 264 patients (36.46%) had at least 2 of these predictive RFs, which was associated with a higher incidence of the primary outcome. Delayed DAT over 1.5 years did not alter the ablation outcome. In conclusion, substantial portions of patients who underwent AF ablation have potentially modifiable RFs that were not well controlled. Fluctuating BMI, diabetes with hemoglobin A1c ≥6.5%, and uncontrolled hyperlipidemia portend an increased risk of recurrent arrhythmia, cardiovascular hospitalizations, and mortality after ablation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-46
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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