Heart Studies: Alcohol Abstinence For Atrial Fibrillation Reduces Arrhythmia (NEJM)

Alcohol Abstinence for Atrial Fibrillation New England Journal of Medicine January 1 2020

Abstinence from alcohol reduced arrhythmia recurrences in regular drinkers with atrial fibrillation. 

New England Journal of Medicine

January 2, 2020 Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia,1 and alcohol is consumed by a majority of U.S. adults.2 The current study showed that among regular drinkers, a substantial reduction in alcohol consumption by patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation was associated with a reduction in recurrence of atrial fibrillation and a reduced proportion of time spent in atrial fibrillation. Earlier meta-analyses showed that alcohol was associated with a dose-related increased risk of incident atrial fibrillation, with increased risk observed even among drinkers who consumed as few as 7 drinks per week.8 Current trends show a rise in alcohol consumption among adults older than 60 years of age,2coupled with greater prevalence of atrial fibrillation in this age group. The present study, with participants having an average intake of approximately 17 drinks per week at baseline, suggests that consumption at these levels may contribute to atrial fibrillation.

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