- Regular, moderate alcohol intake (14 drinks/week) is tied to changes in left atrial voltage and conduction in patients with Afib.
- Older age, female sex together with this level of consumption proved more important than obesity or hypertension as Afib risk factors.
Why this matters
- Alcohol consumption is an important, modifiable Afib risk factor.
- These authors identify electrophysiological associations of alcohol intake and changes in the left atrium.
- Patients can be counseled about these effects.
- Global bipolar voltages were lower among moderate vs nondrinkers:
- 1.53±0.62 vs 1.89±0.45 mV (P=.02).
- Conduction velocities likewise were slower:
- 33.5±14.4 vs 41.7±12.1 cm/second (P=.04).
- Vs nondrinkers, moderate drinkers also had a greater proportion of complex atrial potentials:
- 7.8%±4.7% vs 4.5%±2.7% (P=.004).
- Mild drinkers showed no differences from nondrinkers for bipolar voltages or conduction velocities but did also have a greater proportion of complex atrial potentials (P=.04)
- n=75 with Afib, prior to ablation.
- 25 nondrinkers, 25 mild intake (2-7 drinks/week), 25 moderate intake (8-21 drinks/week).
- Voltage and propagation maps created.
- Funding: Authors cite support from Australian government grants, industry, others.
- In patients with existing Afib.
- Observation, so confounding possible.
- Small sample size.