Alcohol and atrial fibrillation
Aubin HJ , Bouajila N , Thomas D , Naassila M
Rev Med Liege 2022, 77(10),565-570
Abstract : Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disorder, with an increasing prevalence, currently estimated at 3 % of the world population. It has long been well known, as the holiday heart syndrome, that acute alcohol consumption (binge drinking) may trigger an episode of AF, most often benign, during or immediately after consumption. Meta-analyses of observational studies have clearly shown a significant association between a high level of alcohol consumption and the risk of AF. According to the studies included in meta-analyses, the conclusions may differ regarding the association between low and moderate levels of alcohol consumption and the risk of AF. The association probably only exists from a level of consumption of at least one drink per day. Heavy alcohol consumption appears to increase the risk of complications in patients with AF, while light or moderate alcohol consumption does not. The causal nature of the relationship between alcohol consumption and AF cannot currently be confirmed or denied, given the contradictory results of Mendelian randomization studies published to date. However, in patients diagnosed with AF, the recommendation to abstain from alcohol, resulting in a strong reduction in consumption, made it possible to significantly reduce the recurrence of AF episodes.