TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of adverse events in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a study published online Nov. 23 in EP Europace.

Chewan Lim, from the Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues assessed the relationship between alcohol consumption and AF among 9,411 patients with nonvalvular AF.

The researchers found that the heavy alcohol consumption group (≥200 grams/week) had an increased risk of composite adverse outcomes (ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack, systemic embolic event, or AF hospitalization; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.32 [95 percent confidence interval (CI), 1.06 to 1.66] versus the abstainer-rare group). There was no significant increased risk noted for adverse outcomes in the light (<100 g/week; aHR, 0.88; 95 percent CI, 0.68 to 1.13) and moderate (100 to 200 g/week; aHR, 0.91; 95 percent CI, 0.63 to 1.33) groups. Among patients with low CHA2DS2-VASc score, without hypertension, and in whom β-blockers were not prescribed, the adverse effect of heavy alcohol consumption was significant.

“Clinicians should ask patients about their alcohol consumption and take it into account when calculating their stroke risk,” a coauthor said in a statement.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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