Even a little alcohol per day is bad for the heart

Even a little alcohol per day is bad for the heart

Dr. Karen Zoffle | 01/13/2021

You often hear that a glass of wine will protect the heart. Cardiologists have now come to a different conclusion, however: According to a new study of about 108,000 people, even small amounts of alcohol that are regularly intoxicated may increase the risk of cardiac arrhythmia.

For nearly 14 years, people who drank an alcoholic beverage a day had a 16 percent increased risk of atrial fibrillation. As alcohol consumption increased, it continued to increase: two drinks a day was associated with 28 percent increased risk, and it increased to 47 percent for those who drank more than four. This is what researchers have reported in the “European Heart Journal”.

While four out of 100 people developed atrial fibrillation during the study period, five out of 100 people who regularly consumed alcohol did so. Unlike other heart diseases such as heart failure and myocardial infarction, which only increase with high alcohol consumption, atrial fibrillation also occurred with small amounts of alcohol.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest study on alcohol consumption and the long-term incidence of atrial fibrillation in a population. In our study we were able to show that the risk of atrial fibrillation from very low regular alcohol intake May increase, ”said Renat Schnebel, professor at the Heart and Vascular Center at the University of Hamburg-Appnedorf.

Researchers examined 107,845 people between 1982 and 2010 in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Italy. During an average observation period of about 14 years, 5,854 people developed atrial fibrillation. The relationship between alcohol consumption and the risk of atrial fibrillation was similar for all types of alcoholic beverages as well as for men and women.

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DOI 10.1093 / eurheartj / ehaa953
DOI 10.1093 / eurheartj / ehaa955

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