It is alcohol, not caffeine, diet or lack of sleep that causes the heart rhythm disturbance

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Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common types of arrhythmia. In the United States alone, it contributes to 150,000. deaths per year, and in addition, for twenty years, the death rate as a result of this disturbance of the heart is constantly increasing. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular or “trembling” heartbeat which can lead to clots in the blood, resulting in stroke, heart failure and other conditions. Untreated atrial fibrillation doubles the risk of death from heart disease and increases the risk of stroke five times.

The possible triggers of arrhythmia are usually the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, exercise, as well as lack of sleep or an inadequate diet. A team of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco has investigated which of these factors actually causes atrial fibrillation episodes. The conclusions of the study were published in the journal “JAMA Cardiology”.

446 people suffering from cardiac disorders participated in randomized clinical trials (320 volunteers in total completed the studies). The average age of the participants was 58 years, and 58 percent. they were men. Heart rate measurements were taken daily for 10 weeks using a mobile application for smartphones (electrocardiogram based on a smartphone), the subjects also completed activity diaries.

Previously, the volunteers themselves indicated possible factors triggering their arrhythmias. These were in the following order: caffeine (indicated by most people), alcohol, shortened sleep, exercise, lying on the left side, dehydration, heavy meals, cold food or drinks, certain diets. Scientists have now investigated which of these factors was actually triggering the episodes of atrial fibrillation.

Drinking alcohol is responsible for the highest number of episodes of atrial fibrillation

Although caffeine was the most frequently chosen trigger, we found no evidence of a short-term association between caffeine consumption and atrial fibrillation. In contrast, drinking alcohol was very consistent in an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, the researchers conclude in their study summary.

“Patients can reduce their risk of developing heart problems such as atrial fibrillation if they know what triggers to avoid,” the researchers emphasized. This means that by giving up alcohol we can, to some extent, prevent further episodes of atrial fibrillation.

Watch the video

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Sources:, JAMA Cardiology

About Peter Wilson

In love with technology, with an eye towards smartphones, he does not disdain any activity linked to the Nerd world. TV series, movies, manga, anime, and comics (Marvel addicted) are the order of the day.

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