Alcohol Consumption and 5-Year Change in Left Atrial Volume Among Patients With Coronary Heart Disease: Results From the Heart and Soul Study

California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, California.
Journal of cardiac failure (Impact Factor: 3.05). 03/2013; 19(3):183-189. DOI: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2012.12.005
Source: PubMed


Heavy alcohol consumption is a risk factor for developing atrial fibrillation, but whether chronic alcohol use affects left atrial volume is unknown. We evaluated the association of self-reported alcohol consumption with 5-year change in left atrial volume among patients with coronary heart disease (CHD).

We studied 601 participants with stable CHD who underwent 2-dimensional echocardiography at baseline (2000-2002) and after 5 years of follow-up (2005-2007). Alcohol consumption was determined at baseline with the use of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test consumption questions (AUDIT-C), with a standard cutoff point of ≥3 used to define at-risk drinking. We used logistic regression to evaluate the association of baseline alcohol use with 5-year increase in left atrial end-systolic volume index (defined as being in the highest tertile of percent change).

After adjustment for covariates, each standard deviation (2.4-point) increase in AUDIT-C score was associated with a 24% greater odds of experiencing a 5-year increase in left atrial volume index (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.48; P = .02). Compared with the 369 participants who had AUDIT-C scores of <3, the 171 participants with scores of 3-5 had a 51% greater odds (OR 1.51, 95% CI, 1.11-2.25) and the 61 participants with scores of >5 a 98% greater odds (OR 1.98, 95% CI, 1.10-3.56) of experiencing a 5-year increase in left atrial volume index.

In patients with CHD, heavier alcohol consumption is associated with a 5-year increase in left atrial volume. Whether greater left atrial volume contributes to the increased risk of atrial fibrillation associated with alcohol use deserves further study.

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