Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia worldwide. The close relationship between acute excesses of alcohol and the occurrence of AF even in healthy individuals has been known for several decades. More recently, a significant relationship has been consistently observed between elevated consumption of alcoholic beverages on a regular basis and an increased risk of developing AF. However, the amount of alcohol needed to confer an increased risk of AF is rather elevated, approximately two alcoholic beverages per day in women and four to five alcoholic beverages per day in men, suggesting that on a population level, alcohol is not a major contributor to the global AF epidemic.
Credits: Andreas J. Zimmermann; David Conen MD MPH