Abstinence from alcohol is good for atrial fibrillation
Patients with atrial fibrillation will make their hearts beat better if they eliminate most alcohol consumption, a new study in Australia shows, Reuters reports.
Atrial fibrillation (AF), or Afib, reappeared in 73% of the people who averaged 13 drinks per week, but the rate dropped to 53% among patients in the abstinence group, acc. to results of a six-month Australian study of 140 volunteers.
Data were published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
What this study shows is the potential impact of alcohol reduction or abstinence in people with symptomatic heart rhythm problems,” co-author Dr. Peter Kistler of The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne told Reuters Health by phone.
People with Afib symptoms who have 10 drinks per week should be advised to abstain or reduce their alcohol use, he said.
Alcohol is not only a marker of increased risk of AF (as shown before, based on observational studies), but it seems to be also a real risk factor for AF, because if we ‘treat’ (in this case stop taking alcohol), we have a significant reduction in both the AF burden and the recurrence of AF,” Dr. Renato Lopes, a professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, who wasn’t involved in the study, said in an email.