Alcohol consumption increases risks of atrial fibrillation, study finds

November 29, 2021
Alcohol consumption increases risks of atrial fibrillation, study finds

Atrial fibrillation (AF), a common and fatal heart condition, is most affected by alcohol consumption than any other triggers including caffeine and sleep deprivation. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), US, found “heightened risks of AF” in a personalised assessment study – the I-STOP-AFib study – which tested for presumed individual triggers for AF.

The 450 heart arrythmia participants of the study used a phone app to log potential triggers like drinking alcohol and caffeine, sleeping on the left side or not getting enough sleep, dietary habits, engaging in exercise, or anything else they thought was relevant to their AF; the app was used along with a mobile electrocardiogram recording device.

Although caffeine was a commonly selected trigger, there was no association with AF. Previous research from UCSF has even suggested caffeine may have a protective affect against AF.

However, the researchers noticed that consumption of alcohol was the only trigger that consistently resulted in significantly more self-reported AF episodes. Data from the personalised study suggests that behaviours like avoiding alcohol could lessen the chances of having an AF episode.

Study lead Dr. Gregory Marcus, professor of medicine, UCSF Division of Cardiology said the novel assessment method used i.e., a remote, siteless, mobile app-based study will hopefully pave the way for many future experiments that can provide clinically relevant information specific to the patient.

Category: Education, Features

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