(HealthDay News) — Alcohol abuse increases the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF), myocardial infarction (MI), and congestive heart failure (CHF) as much as other well-established risk factors, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Isaac R Whitman, MD, from University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues assessed the associations between alcohol abuse and AF, MI, and CHF using data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. A longitudinal analysis was conducted using California residents (≥21 years of age) who received ambulatory surgery, emergency, or inpatient medical care between 2005 and 2009.

Alcohol abuse was present in 1.8% of 14,727,591 patients. After multivariable adjustment, the researchers found that alcohol abuse was associated with an increased risk of incident AF (hazard ratio [HR], 2.14; P < 0.0001), MI (HR, 1.45; P < 0.0001), and CHF (HR, 2.34; P < 0.0001). For the 3 cardiovascular conditions, the population-attributable risk of alcohol abuse was of similar magnitude to other well-recognized modifiable risk factors.

“Those without traditional cardiovascular risk factors are disproportionately prone to these cardiac diseases in the setting of alcohol abuse,” the authors write.

Continue Reading

Related Articles


  1. Whitman IR, Agarwal V, Nah G, et al. Alcohol Abuse and Cardiac Disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 3 January 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2016.10.048.