Relationship between alcohol consumption and atrial fibrillation

atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation means an irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke in some patients. Many research studies have now found a link between heavy and moderate drinking and the development of atrial fibrillation.

One of the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation is found in an estimated 2.2 million Americans. When this disease occurs, the heart’s two upper chambers, known as the atria, begin to quiver instead of beating normally. As a result, blood is not pumped completely out of them into the ventricles, the two large chambers of the heart. This results in the clotting of blood in atria. When this clot is pumped into the ventricles and then to the brain, it can cause a stroke. An estimated 15% of all strokes occur in people with atrial fibrillation.

If atrial fibrillation is not treated in time, it can cause palpitations, chest pain, fainting, or congestive heart failure. However, a stroke is the gravest danger caused by this disease.

Heavy drinking or binge drinking has long been known to cause incidents of atrial fibrillation. However, there is a dispute among researchers on the fact that whether or not there is any relationship between light or moderate drinking and the risk of atrial fibrillation.

Some studies show a link between the risk and drinking even two standard drinks, most researchers have found no increased risk for those who drink within the recommended guidelines for moderate alcohol consumption. Again, some other studies have found no relationship between atrial fibrillation and any level of alcohol consumption, but those findings were discounted by the alcohol forum group because they run contrary to dozens of other studies.

To conclude, it can be said that any type of health risk varies according to the pattern of drinking- heavy and moderate use of alcohol, binge drinking and a healthy pattern of drinking.