Atrial fibrillation: frequent mild drinking riskier than binge drinking


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Consuming small amounts of alcohol frequently is linked with a higher risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) than binge drinking, according to a research published in EP Europace

The study examined the relative importance of frequent drinking versus binge drinking for new-onset AF among 9,776,956 individuals in Korea. Participants underwent a national health check-up in 2009 and were followed-up until 2017. The influence of drinking frequency, alcohol consumption per drinking session and alcohol consumption per week was studied. 

The study found that compared to mild drinkers (>0 g to

Patients who consumed alcohol once weekly had the lowest risk (hazard ratio [HR] 0.933; 95% CI 0.916-0.950) compared with those who consumed alcohol twice weekly (reference group), while those who consumed alcohol daily had the highest risk (HR 1.412; 95% CI 1.373-1.453). Binge drinking did not show any clear link with new-onset AF.

While many physicians recommend AF patients avoid binge drinking and instead consume divided doses of alcohol, the authors said dividing consumption may not be an appropriate strategy for preventing new-onset AF.