Drinking and smoking

HOLIDAY Monitors: Alcohol Consumption Significantly Increases Risk of AFib Episode

Taken directly from the American College of Cardiology

One glass of wine, beer or other alcoholic beverage may significantly increase the risk of an atrial fibrillation (AFib) episode within the next four hours, according to results of the HOLIDAY Monitors study presented May 17 during ACC.21.

The study, led by Gregory M. Marcus, MD, FACC, looked at alcohol consumption and AFib episodes in 100 patients with paroxysmal or intermittent AFib who consumed at least one alcoholic beverage per month. All participants wore an electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor to continuously track heart rhythm, as well as a transdermal alcohol sensor on their ankle to detect if patients consumed two to three drinks. Patients were instructed to press a button on the heart monitor each time they had an alcoholic drink. In addition, phosphatidylethanol testing was used to measure alcohol consumption at the middle and end of the study period to corroborate self-reported drinking events.

According to the ankle sensor that monitored alcohol intake, every 0.1% increase in inferred blood alcohol concentration over the previous 12 hours was associated with 38% greater odds of an AFib episode (odds ratio [OR], 1.38; 95% CI, 1.04-1.83; p=0.024). In addition, evidence from the sensors demonstrated that total alcohol consumption over time also predicted the chance AFib would occur.

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