At What Alcohol Consumption Level Does Atrial Fibrillation Risk Increase?
Alcohol consumption increases the risk for atrial fibrillation (AF), but it is not known if this risk follows a dose-response pattern. To address this question, researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 14 cohort or case-control studies. The relative effect on AF of the highest category of alcohol consumption compared with the lowest was calculated for each individual study, pooled together, then analyzed with regression analyses that best fit the data (linear and “spline”).
- The cut-off for the highest alcohol consumption category ranged from 1.5–6 drinks per day in the included studies.
- The pooled risk estimate for AF was 1.5 times greater for the highest alcohol consumption category compared with the lowest.
- Alcohol consumption ranged from 4.0–86.4 g per day in the 9 studies used to assess the dose-response relationship. In this analysis, the risk for AF increased by 8% for each additional 10 g alcohol consumed per day.