Alcohol consumption and the risk of incident atrial fibrillation among people with cardiovascular disease

Canadian Medical Association Journal (Impact Factor: 5.96). 10/2012; 184(16). DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.120412
Source: PubMed


Moderate alcohol consumption may reduce cardiovascular events, but little is known about its effect on atrial fibrillation in people at high risk of such events. We examined the association between moderate alcohol consumption and the risk of incident atrial fibrillation among older adults with existing cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

We analyzed data for 30 433 adults who participated in 2 large antihypertensive drug treatment trials and who had no atrial fibrillation at baseline. The patients were 55 years or older and had a history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes with end-organ damage. We classified levels of alcohol consumption according to median cut-off values for low, moderate and high intake based on guidelines used in various countries, and we defined binge drinking as more than 5 drinks a day. The primary outcome measure was incident atrial fibrillation.

A total of 2093 patients had incident atrial fibrillation. The age- and sex-standardized incidence rate per 1000 person-years was 14.5 among those with a low level of alcohol consumption, 17.3 among those with a moderate level and 20.8 among those with a high level. Compared with participants who had a low level of consumption, those with higher levels had an increased risk of incident atrial fibrillation (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.14, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.26, for moderate consumption; 1.32, 95% CI 0.97-1.80, for high consumption). Results were similar after we excluded binge drinkers. Among those with moderate alcohol consumption, binge drinkers had an increased risk of atrial fibrillation compared with non-binge drinkers (adjusted HR 1.29, 95% CI 1.02-1.62).

Moderate to high alcohol intake was associated with an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation among people aged 55 or older with cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Among moderate drinkers, the effect of binge drinking on the risk of atrial fibrillation was similar to that of habitual heavy drinking.

Download full-text


Available from: Eva Lonn, May 12, 2014
  • Source
    • "For those not meeting this definition and providing sufficient data on both frequency and volume of consumption, consumption was calculated as either moderate or high. Moderate consumption was considered an average daily intake of 15–210 g/week (or up to 30 g/day) for women and 15–315 g/week (or up to 45 g/day) for men; high was deemed N210 g/week (or N30 g/day) for women and N 315 g/week (or N45 g/day) for men [27]. Binge drinking was defined as consuming N75 g/day on any one occasion or a calculated average intake of N75 g/day. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Modifiable lifestyle factors represent important targets for preventive intervention in multiple sclerosis (MS). We aimed to explore the association of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption with major MS morbidity outcomes. We surveyed a large, international sample of people with MS recruited via Web 2.0 platforms about type of MS, relapse rates, disability, disease activity, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), alcohol use and smoking. Of 2469 respondents with confirmed MS, 11.7% were current and 40.3% former smokers. Most (61.5%) consumed less than 15g alcohol weekly; few (0.8%) drank large amounts. Moderate alcohol consumption was associated with increased HRQOL; and after controlling for age and gender, was associated with lower odds of significant disability (41% decrease). After controlling for age, gender and alcohol use, smokers had an increased likelihood of major mobility requirements by 90% compared to never smokers. There was no association between alcohol or smoking and relapse rate or disease activity after controlling for age and gender, however among former smokers, a longer duration of smoking cessation was associated with reduced disease activity. Smokers had significantly lower HRQOL than never smokers and former smokers; heavier smoking was associated with greater decreases in HRQOL. This cross-sectional study supports previous research showing a link between morbidity indicators in MS and alcohol use and smoking. While people with MS should be advised of the potential risks of smoking, any risks and benefits of alcohol consumption require validation using a prospective cohort of people with MS.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Journal of the neurological sciences
  • Source
    • "Previous studies suggest that in patients with cardiac disease that increases the chance of cardiac arrhythmias, namely AF, alcohol can be a trigger for arrhythmia episodes15,17,30. However further studies are needed to quantify this risk. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The cardiovascular effects of alcohol are well known. However, most research has focused on the beneficial effects (the "French paradox") of moderate consumption or the harmful consequences, such as dilated cardiomyopathy, associated with heavy consumption over an extended period. An association between the ingestion of acute alcohol and onset of cardiac arrhythmias was first reported in the early 70's. In 1978, Philip Ettinger described "Holiday heart syndrome" (HHS) for the first time, as the occurrence, in healthy people without heart disease known to cause arrhythmia, of an acute cardiac rhythm disturbance, most frequently atrial fibrillation, after binge drinking. The name is derived from the fact that episodes were initially observed more frequently after weekends or public holidays. Since the original description of HHS, 34 years have passed and new research in this field has increased the volume of knowledge related to this syndrome. Throughout this paper the authors will comprehensively review most of the available data concerning HHS and highlight the questions that remain unresolved.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Arquivos brasileiros de cardiologia
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation (AF) sometimes develops in younger individuals without any evident cardiac or other disease. To refer to these patients who were considered to have a very favourable prognosis compared with other AF patients, the term 'lone' AF was introduced in 1953. However, there are numerous uncertainties associated with 'lone' AF, including inconsistent entity definitions, considerable variations in the reported prevalence and outcomes, etc. Indeed, increasing evidence suggests a number of often subtle cardiac alterations associated with apparently 'lone' AF, which may have relevant prognostic implications. Hence, 'lone' AF patients comprise a rather heterogeneous cohort, and may have largely variable risk profiles based on the presence (or absence) of overlooked subclinical cardiovascular risk factors or genetically determined subtle alterations at the cellular or molecular level. Whether the implementation of various cardiac imaging techniques, biomarkers and genetic information could improve the prediction of risk for incident AF and risk assessment of 'lone' AF patients, and influence the treatment decisions needs further research. In this review, we summarise the current knowledge on 'lone' AF, highlight the existing inconsistencies in the field and discuss the prognostic and treatment implications of recent insights in 'lone' AF pathophysiology.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · International Journal of Clinical Practice
Show more