October 17, 2019 - 17:08 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Drinking small amounts of alcohol frequently is linked with a higher likelihood of atrial fibrillation than binge drinking, according to research published today in EP Europace, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), SciTechDaily reports.
"Recommendations about alcohol consumption have focused on reducing the absolute amount rather than the ,frequency," said study author Dr. Jong-Il Choi, of Korea University College of Medicine and Korea University Anam Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea. "Our study suggests that drinking less often may also be important to protect against atrial fibrillation."
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder and raises the risk of stroke by five-fold.2 Symptoms include palpitations, racing or irregular pulse, shortness of breath, tiredness, chest pain, and dizziness.3
A prior meta-analysis found a linear correlation between alcohol and atrial fibrillation: risk increased by 8% for every 12 g of alcohol (one drink) consumed per week.4 But it was not clear which is more important: the total amount of alcohol or the number of drinking sessions.
This study examined the relative importance of frequent drinking versus binge drinking for new-onset atrial fibrillation. The analysis included 9,776,956 individuals without atrial fibrillation who underwent a national health check-up in 2009 which included a questionnaire about alcohol consumption. Participants were followed-up until 2017 for the occurrence of atrial fibrillation.