Scientists have suggested suggested alcohol long term – even as little as one drink a day – can enlarge a portion of the heart.
Known as atrial fibrillation or arrhythmia, the condition see the heart beat irregularly and stops pumping blood properly.
condition may indicate a serious underlying heart disease and some can lead to serious problems such as loss of consciousness, stroke and sudden cardiac death
Previous research has shown associations between consumption alcohol and ‘ventricular cardiomyopathy’ – .., where the heart is pumping blood problems and delivery to the body
Dr. Gregory Marcus, lead author of the study and associate professor medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, said: “Our study provides the first human evidence of why every day, long-term alcohol consumption can lead to the development of this disorder very common heart rhythm
“We were a little surprised that a relatively small amount of alcohol was associated with a large left atrium and posterior auricular fibrillation.”
researchers analyzed data from 5,220 participants in the Framingham Heart Study, a national research project underway in the United States.
participants, who had an average age of 56 hours underwent electrocardiograms to measure the electrical activity of the heart. Of 17,659 scans taken for six years, researchers found 1,088 incidents of atrial fibrillation.
also found that chronic alcohol consumption was also associated with an increased risk of incident atrial fibrillation.
10 grams per day of alcohol, the equivalent of one drink per day, consume was associated with a five percent risk of developing atrial fibrillation.
each additional 10 grams of alcohol per day was associated with a left atrium of 0.16 millimeters greater.
results also showed that about 24 percent, and up to 75 percent, of the relationship between regular alcohol consumption and risk of atrial fibrillation can be traced back to the enlargement of the left atria.
researchers said that the relationship between atrial fibrillation and alcohol consumption remained even after considering other risk factors for heart health, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or smoking.
they said that observational results do not suggest that alcohol consumption is a direct cause of heart problems
But added that their findings challenge the popular belief that alcohol’s heart benefits
Dr. Marcus said :. . “Our data suggest atrial fibrillation can be prevented by avoiding alcohol – However, like alcohol is likely to have variable effects on individuals, there are almost certainly several mechanistic subtypes of atrial fibrillation is not one size fits all. when it comes to the effects of alcohol and heart health. “
the expert has also previously said that people who believe that alcohol is good for the heart tend to drink more.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
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