Moderate Drinking Linked to AFib
According to a new study, moderate alcohol consumption—one drink per day for women, two for men—may change the structure of the heart and increase the risk for atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation, also called AFib or AF, is a heart rhythm disorder that can lead to blood clots and stroke.
Researchers analyzed data, including echocardiograms, medical history, and self-reported alcohol use, from more than 5,000 adults over several years. Most study participants were between the ages of 40 and 70. They reported having slightly more than one alcoholic drink per day, on average.
The overall AFib rate was 8.4 cases per 1,000 people per year. In a 10-year period, eight out of 100 people developed atrial fibrillation. Each additional drink per day raised the yearly risk five percent and was associated with a significant enlargement of the left atrium—one of the heart’s chambers. This study, along with previous research, underscores the complexity of the relationship between alcohol consumption and heart health.
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