Even just one glass of booze can trigger heart condition, study finds
HAVING just one glass of booze can trigger a heart condition, a study has found.
New research has discovered that just a single serving of wine or beer instantly raises the danger of developing atrial fibrillation.
This is a condition that causes an irregular and often fast heartbeat.
It is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, with long-term alcohol use association with the condition developing.
But this is the first time instant reactions to drinking have been studied.
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, studied 100 adults with intermittent atrial fibrillation who drank an average of one drink a month.
They wanted to figure out if drinking increased the risk for an instant atrial fibrillation event.
Participants wore a monitor to record the time and length of each episode of atrial fibrillation, and an ankle monitor to note down their alcohol consumption.
They found that of the 56 participants who suffered atrial fibrillation, it was about twice as likely that they had had alcohol in the 4 hours before the episode.
This study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, adds to the growing evidence that there is no safe level of drinking, especially for people with known conditions.
It comes as new figures revealed Brits stuck in lockdown turned to booze in record numbers.
The amount of people needing urgent treatment for alcohol-related illnesses soared in 2020.
What is atrial fibrillation?
A normal heart rate should be regular and between 60 and 100 beats a minute when you're resting.
But when you have atrial fibrillation, it becomes irregular and can reach considerably higher than 100 beats per minute.
Atrial fibrillation can sometimes not cause any noticeable symptoms, and someone with an irregular or quickened heart rate may not realise.
But more obvious symptoms can include dizziness, shortness of breath and tiredness.
Sufferers may also notice heart palpitations for a few seconds or minutes, where your heart feels like it's fluttering, bounding or beating irregularly.
Last year the NHS dealt with 62,118 cases compared to 59,345 the year before – a surge of five per cent.
The rate of hospital admissions for booze-linked conditions is now up 22 percent on five years ago.
We have previously told of the effect alcohol can have on your heart – with pictures showing the difference between a healthy heart and the heart of someone who drinks too much.
They showed the enlarged heart of someone suffering from alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM), which causes the heart to swell and lose the ability to properly pump blood around the body.
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