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Levels of and Changes in Childhood Body Mass Index in Relation to Risk of Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter in Adulthood

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Children with obesity have a cardiometabolic risk profile that may predispose them to cardiovascular diseases. We examined the associations of childhood body mass index (BMI) and changes in BMI with the risk of atrial fibrillation and flutter (AFF) in adulthood. We conducted a population-based cohort study of Danish schoolchildren aged 7-13 years born from 1930 to 1989. Among 314,140 children, 17,594 were diagnosed with AFF as adults (1977-2014). In both men and women, above-average BMIs in childhood were associated with increased risks of AFF. Children who were persistently heavy at ages 7 and 13 years and children whose BMIs increased from the internal 25.0th-75.0th percentiles or from the internal 75.1th-90.0th percentiles between ages 7 and 13 years had higher risks of AFF in adulthood than children whose BMIs remained in the internal 25.0th-75.0th percentiles at both ages. A decrease in BMI percentile categories between 7 and 13 years of age reduced risks of AFF in adulthood, with risks of AFF reverting to levels similar to those in the reference group for women but not for men. In conclusion, risks of AFF in adulthood increased with higher childhood BMIs. Remission from overweight by age 13 years reduced AFF risks, especially in women.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume188
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)684-693
Number of pages10
ISSN0002-9262
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

    Research areas

  • atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, body mass index, childhood body mass index, cohort studies

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