American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2022, Abstract SA3123
American Heart Association
DALLAS, Oct. 31, 2022 — An analysis of over 1.3 million young Asian American adults hospitalized for atrial fibrillation (or AFib) found a significant, steady increase in the prevalence of obesity and other modifiable cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, such as smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol levels and Type 2 diabetes, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2022. The meeting, held in person in Chicago and virtually, Nov. 5-7, 2022, is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science.
“Over the last 30 years, death and disability from cardiovascular disease have been steadily rising across the globe,” said lead study investigator Nanush Damarlapally, M.B.B.S., an independent researcher in Houston. “Despite the development of advanced therapeutics and improved screening and diagnostic techniques in the last decade, there are still rising trends in the prevalence of modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This study highlights the need to address these modifiable risk factors in a younger population, since, fortunately, some of the factors that cause cardiovascular disease are modifiable, thus potentially preventing future cardiac events.”
For the analysis, researchers examined patient records from 2016 to 2019 from the National Inpatient Sample, a large U.S. insurance database. They analyzed hospitalization data for over 1.3 million Asian Americans, ages 18–44 years, who were admitted to the hospital for atrial fibrillation, which is an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure or other heart-related complications. The researchers specifically examined increasing trends in the prevalence of modifiable CVD risk factors, including Type 2 diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, smoking and hypertension among the patients over the three-year timeframe.
The analysis found that from 2016 to 2019:
The authors also assessed the prevalence of CVD risk factors by sex and compared the prevalence of atrial fibrillation diagnoses among the young Asian American adults group with cardiovascular disease risk factors to adults hospitalized for atrial fibrillation who had no cardiovascular risk factors. Young Asian American adults who had at least one cardiovascular risk factor (hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, smoking, obesity or high cholesterol levels) were at an almost three times higher risk of being hospitalized for atrial fibrillation compared to young Asian American adults who did not have any risk factors.
The findings also indicate:
“We found the prevalence of obesity was higher in both sexes,” Damarlapally said. “This is in accordance with the fact that obesity has emerged as a major U.S. health problem in recent years. Most of the cardiovascular disease risk factors we examined are conditions that may affect people for a lifetime and may also impact their quality of life and other health outcomes. The risks reported here may appear small, however, on a national and international scale, these numbers likely translate into millions of people with cardiovascular disease. We need to realize this now and ensure we are prepared and ready to address the needs of these people through prevention and management strategies.”
The study authors also suggest that future research should focus on the ideal methods to identify, diagnose and treat young Asian American adults to improve cardiovascular disease outcomes.
The study’s limitations include that the researchers did not have access to patient follow-up, laboratory blood work results – such as blood sugar levels, lipid profiles and metabolic panels – or medication history because it was a review of an insurance database.
“The study findings are consistent with evidence that the burden of AFib is increasing in the United States, in parallel with a growth in prevalence of risk factors,” said Janice Y. Chyou, M.D., FAHA, a cardiac electrophysiologist in New York, an assistant clinical professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a member of the American Heart Association’s Council on Clinical Cardiology. “This abstract joins a growing body of literature compelling our attention to cardiovascular disease risk factors.”
Co-authors are Nishtha Rana, M.B.B.S.; Vaishnavi Arote, M.B.B.S.; Mounika Reddy Vadiyala, M.B.B.S.; Pranjali Singh, M.B.B.S.; Birgurman Singh, M.B.B.S.; Gokul Paidi, M.B.B.S.; Rineetha Tandra, M.B.B.S.; Hardik Patel, M.B.B.S.; Avilash Mondal, M.D.; and Rupak Desai, M.B.B.S. Authors’ disclosures are listed in the abstract.
The researchers reported no funding sources for this study.
Statements and conclusions of studies that are presented at the American Heart Association’s scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the Association’s policy or position. The Association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. Abstracts presented at the Association’s scientific meetings are not peer-reviewed, rather, they are curated by independent review panels and are considered based on the potential to add to the diversity of scientific issues and views discussed at the meeting. The findings are considered preliminary until published as a full manuscript in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
The Association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific Association programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and biotech companies, device manufacturers and health insurance providers and the Association’s overall financial information are available here.
Additional Resources:
The American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2022 is a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science. The 3-day meeting will feature more than 500 sessions focused on breakthrough cardiovascular basic, clinical and population science updates occurring Saturday through Monday, November 5-7, 2022. Thousands of leading physicians, scientists, cardiologists, advanced practice nurses and allied health care professionals from around the world will convene virtually to participate in basic, clinical and population science presentations, discussions and curricula that can shape the future of cardiovascular science and medicine, including prevention and quality improvement. During the three-day meeting, attendees receive exclusive access to more than 4,000 original research presentations and can earn Continuing Medical Education (CME), Continuing Education (CE) or Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credits for educational sessions. Engage in Scientific Sessions 2022 on social media via #AHA22. 
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1. 
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