Sydney: Losing weight may reverse or reduce the progression of irregular heart rhythm disorder among obese people, claim researchers, including one of Indian origin.

The findings showed that reducing weight by 10 per cent along with management of associated risk factors can reduce the effects of Atrial fibrillation (AF), a leading cause of stroke which can lead to heart failure among overweight people.

People who lost weight experienced fewer symptoms, required less treatment and had better outcomes.

"This is the first time that evidence has been found that if people who are obese and are suffering from atrial fibrillation the disease can be alleviated by losing weight and treating lifestyle factors," said lead author Melissa Middeldorp from the University of Adelaide in Australia.

AF is a progressive disease in which initial short, intermittent symptoms develop into more sustained forms of the condition. Obesity and lifestyle factors are associated with its progression.

"This study shows that weight-loss and treating lifestyle factors is an essential component for effectively managing AF, in many instances being an alternative to surgery or drug intervention," added Professor Prashanthan Sanders from the varsity.

In the study, published in the journal Europace, the team analysed 355 overweight people who lost varying amounts of weight.