Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New research links obesity with heart rhythm disorder

Date:
August 23, 2011
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
New research shows for the first time that obesity directly causes electrical abnormalities of the heart.

University of Adelaide research has shown for the first time that obesity directly causes electrical abnormalities of the heart.

Cardiologist and PhD candidate Dr Hany Abed says there is growing evidence that obesity changes the structure and size of the heart muscle and the way it works and contracts, as well as its electrical function.

The latter leads to atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder in the world, affecting 10% of people over 75 years of age.

Dr Abed is working with the University of Adelaide's Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders and the Discipline of Medicine to ascertain how obesity affects the heart and whether losing weight can actually reduce the risk of developing atrial fibrillation.

"We already know that obesity causes an increase in blood pressure and puts strain on the heart. Current basic laboratory research using a sheep model also shows that obesity causes electrical abnormalities in the heart chamber," Dr Abed says.

The PhD student was last weekend awarded the Ralph Reader Young Investigator Award from the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand for his research.

Hospital admissions due to atrial fibrillation have more than tripled in Australia over the past 15 years with older, overweight men at most risk. The condition is also linked directly to strokes and heart attacks.

"It is now more common to be admitted to hospital with atrial fibrillation than it is for heart failure," Dr Abed says.

"The problem with atrial fibrillation is that it is usually picked up incidentally, in health check-ups, or when someone suffers dizzy spells, heart palpitations and chest pains. Unfortunately, often the first sign of this heart rhythm disorder is when someone has a stroke."

Dr Abed says the health sector estimates that two thirds of the incidence of atrial fibrillation expected by 2020 will be solely due to obesity.

"Unless we tackle the obesity problem it will be like trying to rescue the deck chairs from the Titanic."

He says while obesity is not restricted to an age group, those most at risk of atrial fibrillation -- the elderly -- are becoming fatter and therefore escalating their chances of developing the heart disorder.

"The costs to the health system and the community are enormous. However, early results in our research show that atrial fibrillation can be reversed if people lose weight."

Dr Abed is undertaking his PhD under the supervision of Professor Prash Sanders and Professor Gary Wittert. Professor Sanders is Head of the Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders at the University of Adelaide and Royal Adelaide Hospital, and Professor Gary Wittert is Head of the Discipline of Medicine at the University of Adelaide and Chief Investigator in the NHMRC Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in Nutritional Physiology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "New research links obesity with heart rhythm disorder." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816112153.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2011, August 23). New research links obesity with heart rhythm disorder. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816112153.htm
University of Adelaide. "New research links obesity with heart rhythm disorder." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816112153.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins