Navigation Links
Light Drinking Poses No Heart Risk for Women
Date:12/2/2008

But more than two glasses a day linked to atrial fibrillation, study finds

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A healthy middle-aged woman can have up to two drinks a day without increasing her risk of the abnormal heartbeat called atrial fibrillation, a new study finds.

A group including Dr. Christine M. Albert, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, mined the data of the large-scale Women's Health study, looking for a relationship between alcohol intake and atrial fibrillation, the most common abnormal heart rhythm.

"There have been previous studies in men which suggested that at higher intakes of alcohol, there may be an elevation in the risk for atrial fibrillation," said Albert, who is also director for arrhythmia prevention at Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston. "But we did this study because most previous studies did not include a lot of women and women generally drink less than men."

The nearly 35,000 women in the study were all over 45. None had atrial fibrillation or any other heart condition at the start of the study. They described their alcohol intake when the study began, and again 48 months later. Over an average follow-up period of 12.4 years, 1.9 percent of the women who had one drink or less day developed atrial fibrillation, compared to 1.8 percent of those having one to two drinks a day and 2.9 percent of those having two or more drinks a day.

"So there is a 40 to 50 percent increase in the incidence of atrial fibrillation at about three drinks a day," Albert said. Still, he said, " the absolute risks [for any one person] are pretty low," with only 2.25 people out of a thousand suffering such an event each year.

In atrial fibrillation, the two upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat irregularly and faster than they should. Blood can pool in the atria, leading to formation of clots that can block a major artery to the brain, causing a stroke.

"Atrial fibrillation is becoming more common," said Albert. "It occurs in about 1 percent of people up to the age of 80 and it can cause significant symptoms in those who have it."

The link between alcohol consumption and atrial fibrillation seen in the study applies only to the group of women in that study, Albert noted. "It may not apply to African-Americans, who were not generally represented in the study or to women with heart disease, who were not represented in the study," she said.

The new study "confirms what we saw before, that for most people drinking reasonable amounts of alcohol per day, alcohol consumption is not related to the risk of atrial fibrillation," said Dr. Kenneth J. Mukamal, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who was not involved with the research.

"It is noteworthy that the risk was concentrated in women drinking the very heaviest amounts of alcohol," Mukamal said.

He was a member of a group that studied the relationship in a large number of Danish adults, publishing the results in 2005. "We looked at both men and women and found an elevated incidence in men only at the highest risk category, five or more a day," Mukamal said. "We never saw a higher risk in women. What this study indicates is that it may be that if women drink enough, you find a higher risk."

More information

Atrial fibrillation and its effects are described by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.



SOURCES: Christine M. Albert, professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Kenneth J. Mukamal, associate professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Dec. 3, 2008, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
2. Study shines more light on benefit of vitamin D in fighting cancer
3. Bacteria See the Light
4. Quantum light beams good for fast technology
5. Free will takes flight: how our brains respond to an approaching menace
6. New MRI finding sheds light on multiple sclerosis disease progressio
7. RA Drugs Linked to Slight Skin Cancer Risk
8. QUANTEL Intends to Strengthen its Dermatology/ Aesthetics Division With the Acquisition of WaveLight Aesthetic GmbH
9. REACH Registry Highlights That Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Suffer High Rates of Heart Attack, Stroke, Hospitalization, and Death
10. Cardiovascular Technologies to be Highlighted at 5th Annual Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit, Oct. 1-3
11. First Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Against Philip Morris in Lights Class Action
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Light Drinking Poses No Heart Risk for Women
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Saad B. Chaudhary, MD is committed to providing the highest quality ... problems, I focus on preventative care with all my patients to alleviate possible future issues. ... feel free to contact my office and my trained staff will assist you in any ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... ... Emergency Physician and Distinguished Professor of Emergency Medicine Bentley Bobrow will be featured ... publish in summer 2017. , Dr. Bobrow, MD, FACEP, FAHA, is an Emergency ... He also serves as Medical Director for the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... products, is introducing Flexadin UCII, part of the EQUISTRO line, at this week’s ... health in horses at the immunologic level. , The scientifically-developed Flexadin UCII supports ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... ... Emmanuel College is introducing enhancements to its RN-to-BSN Degree ... fall of 2017, Emmanuel’s program will allow registered nurses (RN)s to earn a Bachelor ... as little as $14,528. These changes will enable nurses to complete their degree in ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... , ... Michael Vick announced his retirement earlier this year from the NFL ... one pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, to the Atlanta Falcons, made four Pro ... career rushing yards by a quarterback (6,109) and the most rushing yards by a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... 19, 2017  New research provides evidence that an old ... to a study released today that will be presented at ... in Boston , April 22 to 28, ... of Parkinson,s disease, the oral drug levodopa has long been ... But as the disease progresses, the effects of the medication ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017  SARES•REGIS Group leased ... is developing at Conejo Spectrum Business Park in ... Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. , a biopharmaceutical company ... life-threatening diseases that have been underserved by scientific ... therapies for cancer, autoimmune and infectious disease. ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017 Cogentix Medical, ... on providing the Urology, Uro/Gyn and Gynecology markets with ... the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 after the ... The Company will host a conference call and ... on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: