Atrial Fibrillation Risk Increased by Alcohol Intake

Not consuming any alcohol is recommended for reducing the risk of atrial fibrillation

FRIDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol consumption increases the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a meta-analysis published in the Jan. 25 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Satoru Kodama, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Tsukuba Institute of Clinical Medicine in Ibaraki, Japan, and colleagues carried out electronic literature searches of MedLine and Embase to identify studies measuring the effect of habitual alcohol intake on AF. Studies from 1966 to 2009 were considered eligible if they included data on effect measures for AF associated with alcohol intake or if the effect measure could be calculated. Analyses were conducted to quantify the relationship between alcohol intake and the risk of AF.

The investigators included 14 studies in their meta-analysis. The pooled estimate of odds ratio:relative risk for the highest category of alcohol intake compared with the lowest category of alcohol intake was 1.51 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.31 to 1.74). The risk of AF increased with increasing levels of alcohol consumption, according to both the linear regression analysis and the spline regression model.

"The relationship between daily alcohol consumption and AF was explained by a linear dose-response model, suggesting that not consuming alcohol at all is the most favorable behavior for avoiding AF, rather than moderate alcohol consumption," the authors write.

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