Alcohol lovers, take a note. Drinking small amounts of alcohol frequently is linked with a higher likelihood of atrial fibrillation than binge drinking, says a new study.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder and raises the risk of stroke by five-fold. Symptoms include palpitations, racing or irregular pulse, shortness of breath, tiredness, chest pain and dizziness.
"Our study suggests that drinking less often may also be important to protect against atrial fibrillation," said study author Jong-Il Choi, from Korea University College in South Korea.
For the study, published in the journal EP Europace, researchers examined the relative importance of frequent drinking versus binge drinking for new-onset atrial fibrillation.
The analysis included 9 776 956 individuals without atrial fibrillation who underwent a national health check-up in 2009 which included a questionnaire about alcohol consumption.