WEDNESDAY, November 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) – Millions of Americans have a potentially dangerous abnormal heartbeat called atrial fibrillation.
Now, research shows that obesity can reduce the effectiveness of some drugs meant to treat AFib.
The new study followed more than 300 patients listed at the University of Illinois at Chicago's AFib Registry. The researchers found that a group of drugs called sodium channel blockers, commonly used to treat AFib, were less effective in obese patients.
In fact, the recurrence rate for arrhythmia is 30% for obese patients using sodium channel blockers, compared to 6% in non-obese patients.
That may be bad news for many patients, because obesity is a big risk factor for AFib, a research team led by Dr. Dawood Darbar, head of cardiology at the Medical University.
However, obese patients may have a viable option: Darbar's group found that another group of drugs, called potassium channel blockers, worked better in obese patients.
"This is the first time anyone has shown that there is a distinct reaction to the antiarrhythmic drug for AFib," Darbar said in a university press release. "Because 50% of our AFib Registry patients are obese, this gives us a unique opportunity to determine whether obesity will affect the response to drug therapy. "
Dr. Satjit Bhusri, cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, …