Health

How Drinking Too Much Can Lead to Atrial Fibrillation

It’s no surprise that people drink more during the holidays than any other time of the year. Be that due to a full social calendar with opportunities to have a few drinks, or increased stress this time of year.

Those extra drinks can be hard on the body, even if you’re drinking too much for a short time.

Excessive drinking has such a big impact on the cardiovascular system, medical experts have a name for instances of irregular heartbeat and, in some cases, atrial fibrillation (afib), associated with binge drinking: holiday heart syndrome, per StatPearls.

According to Rakesh Gopinathannair, MD, a cardiac electrophysiologist with the Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute in Missouri, holiday heart syndrome typically occurs in people who do not have existing heart disease, though whether someone develops new onset atrial fibrillation depends on a lot of factors.

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