Frequent drinking is a more important risk factor for new-onset atrial fibrillation than binge drinking: a nationwide population-based study

Yun Gi Kim, Kyung Do Han, Jong Il Choi, Ki Yung Boo, Do Young Kim, Kwang No Lee, Jaemin Shim, Jin Seok Kim, Young Hoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

AIMS: Heavy consumption of alcohol is a known risk factor for new-onset atrial fibrillation (AF). We aimed to evaluate the relative importance of frequent drinking vs. binge drinking. METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 9 776 956 patients without AF who participated in a national health check-up programme were included in the analysis. The influence of drinking frequency (day per week), alcohol consumption per drinking session (grams per session), and alcohol consumption per week were studied. Compared with patients who drink twice per week (reference group), patients who drink once per week showed the lowest risk [hazard ratio (HR) 0.933, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.916-0.950] and those who drink everyday had the highest risk for new-onset AF (HR 1.412, 95% CI 1.373-1.453), respectively. However, the amount of alcohol intake per drinking session did not present any clear association with new-onset AF. Regardless of whether weekly alcohol intake exceeded 210 g, the frequency of drinking was significantly associated with the risk of new-onset AF. In contrast, when patients were stratified by weekly alcohol intake (210 g per week), those who drink large amounts of alcohol per drinking session showed a lower risk of new-onset AF. CONCLUSION: Frequent drinking and amount of alcohol consumption per week were significant risk factors for new-onset AF, whereas the amount of alcohol consumed per each drinking session was not an independent risk factor. Avoiding the habit of consuming a low but frequent amount of alcohol might therefore be important to prevent AF.

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Drinking
  • Upstream therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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