Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Moderate alcohol use associated with increased risk for atrial fibrillation

Date:
July 14, 2014
Source:
American College of Cardiology
Summary:
Even in moderation, consumption of wine and hard liquor may be a risk factor for atrial fibrillation, an abnormally fast heartbeat that can lead to stroke, heart failure and dementia, according to new research. Moderate drinking was defined as one to three drinks per day. The research did not identify a similar risk for moderate consumption of beer.

Even in moderation, consumption of wine and hard liquor may be a risk factor for atrial fibrillation, an abnormally fast heartbeat that can lead to stroke, heart failure and dementia, according to new research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The research did not identify a similar risk for moderate consumption of beer.

Researchers in Sweden studied 79,016 adults, ages 45 to 83, who completed an extensive questionnaire about food and alcohol consumption in 1997. The researchers followed the participants for up to 12 years through national registries in Sweden and found 7,245 cases of atrial fibrillation.

Consistent with previous research, the study found an association between high alcohol consumption, defined as more than three drinks per day, and increased risk for atrial fibrillation and a strong association with binge drinking. Previous studies had not reported findings on moderate alcohol use.

The Swedish study showed an increase in risk for atrial fibrillation with moderate drinking of wine and liquor. Moderate drinking was defined as one to three drinks per day.

The researchers also conducted a complementary meta-analysis, combining their results with six similar prospective research studies to study the dose response. The complete analysis included 12,554 cases of atrial fibrillation. The meta-analysis, which didn't differentiate between types of alcohol, showed the risk for atrial fibrillation increased 8 percent with each additional drink per day.

While many studies have shown that light to moderate alcohol consumption can have beneficial outcomes on the heart, such as reducing ischemic heart disease and stroke, it is important to balance these benefits against the potential risk of developing atrial fibrillation, said Susanna C. Larsson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Unit of Nutritional Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and lead author of the study.

The study showed that binge drinking -- consuming five or more drinks on a single occasion -- was associated with an increased risk for drinkers of wine and liquor. Excluding binge drinkers from the analysis reduced the risk only slightly for heavy and moderate drinkers of wine and liquor.

While the association between moderate wine and liquor consumption and increased atrial fibrillation risk was strong, the Swedish study did not find such a relationship with atrial fibrillation and moderate beer consumption or even binge drinking of beer.

"We have no explanation for the lack of association with beer consumption," Larsson said. "It is likely that beer is consumed more regularly during the week, whereas wine and liquor is more often consumed during weekends only. Adverse effects of alcohol on atrial fibrillation risk may be less pronounced if alcohol consumption is spread out over the week compared with consumption of larger amounts of alcohol during a few days per week."

Prospective studies, which follow a group of participants over time, can identify associations, or conditions that exist together, but an association does not necessarily mean moderate alcohol use causes atrial fibrillation. There could be other reasons atrial fibrillation is seen more often in drinkers. Still investigators identified several factors that could explain the relationship between alcohol consumption and atrial fibrillation. Past studies have shown an association between alcohol consumption and depression of heart function, cardiac condition abnormalities, dilated cardiomyopathy with supraventricular arrhythmias and other conditions that could lead to atrial fibrillation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American College of Cardiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Susanna C. Larsson, Nikola Drca, Alicja Wolk. Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Atrial Fibrillation. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2014; 64 (3): 281 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2014.03.048

Cite This Page:

American College of Cardiology. "Moderate alcohol use associated with increased risk for atrial fibrillation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714182402.htm>.
American College of Cardiology. (2014, July 14). Moderate alcohol use associated with increased risk for atrial fibrillation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714182402.htm
American College of Cardiology. "Moderate alcohol use associated with increased risk for atrial fibrillation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714182402.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) New numbers show a decade's worth of changes in the number of kids with disabilities. They suggest mental disabilities are up; physical ones are down. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fake Weed Wreaks Havoc In New Hampshire

Fake Weed Wreaks Havoc In New Hampshire

Newsy (Aug. 17, 2014) New Hampshire's governor declared a state of emergency after more than 40 overdoses of synthetic marijuana in one week throughout the state. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins