Page last updated: October 31, 2017
Alcohol and incident atrial fibrillation

A review characterised the association between chronic alcohol intake and incident AF.

Electronic literature searches were undertaken and prospective studies reporting on at least three levels of alcohol intake and published in English were eligible for inclusion.

Consistent with previous studies, high levels of alcohol intake were associated with an increased incident AF risk (HR 1.34, 95% CI 1.20-1.49, p<0.001). Moderate levels of alcohol intake were associated with a heightened AF risk in males (HR 1.26, 95% CI 1.04-1.54, p=0.02) but not females (HR 1.03, 95% CI 0.86-1.25, p=0.74).

Low alcohol intake, of up to 1 standard drink (SD) per day, was not associated with AF development (HR 0.95, 95% CI 0.85-1.06, p=0.37) Low levels of alcohol intake are not associated with the development of AF. Gender differences exist in the association between moderate alcohol intake and AF with males demonstrating greater increases in risk.

Source: Alcohol and incident atrial fibrillation - A systematic review and meta-analysis. Gallagher C, Hendriks JML, Elliott AD, Wong CX, Rangnekar G, Middeldorp ME, Mahajan R, Lau DH, Sanders P. Int J Cardiol. 2017 Nov 1;246:46-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2017.05.133.

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