Regular drinking may up atrial fibrillation risk

eAwaz Health

Berlin – A study published in the European Heart Journal says people who regularly drink a modest amount of alcohol are at an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, a condition where the heart beats in an abnormal rhythm. It says compared to drinking no alcohol at all, just one alcoholic drink a day was linked to a 16 per cent increased risk of atrial fibrillation over an average (median) follow-up time of nearly 14 years.
Researcher Renate Schnabel, a professor at the University Heart and Vascular Center, Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany, said: “These findings are important as the regular consumption of alcohol, the ‘one glass of wine a day’ to protect the heart, as is often recommended for instance in the lay press, should probably no longer be suggested without balancing risks and possible benefits for all heart and blood vessel diseases, including atrial fibrillation.”
For the study the researchers analysed information on 1,07,845 people who underwent medical examinations at the time they joined the studies between 1982 and 2010 and provided information on their medical histories, lifestyles (including alcohol and tobacco consumption), employment and education levels. It said people who consumed only one alcoholic drink a day, the researchers found that the risk increased with increasing alcohol intake; up to two drinks a day was associated with a 28 per cent increased risk and this went up to 47 per cent for those who consumed more than four.