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Alcohol is the most widely consumed drug in the world. Binge drinking has been associated with the “holiday heart syndrome”. However, it is unclear whether alcohol use post ablation increases the risk of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) recurrence.
One hundred sixty-five patients underwent radiofrequency ablation for AF at the University of North Carolina Hospital (Chapel Hill, NC). Prior to ablation, patients completed a questionnaire regarding their health and well-being. Patients were followed post-ablation with 1-week continuous monitoring and clinic visits at 3, 6, 9, and12 months follow-up. At baseline, patients were asked 2 questions regarding frequency and quantity of alcohol intake. Patients were also asked a question regarding frequency of binge alcohol intake. Recurrent AF was defined as symptomatic or asymptomatic AF lasting >30 seconds. Kaplan-Meier survival analyses and multivariable Cox regression models were used to determine whether alcohol consumption predicted AF recurrence, adjusting for other important predictors of recurrence.
Mean age of the cohort was 60.0 (11.8) and 71% were male. Comorbidities included hypertension (57.7%), coronary heart disease (17.6%), heart failure (12.8%), and diabetes (21.2%). Mean left atrial size was 4.4 (0.8) cm and AF was persistent in 65.3%. Patients drank alcohol an average of 1-4 times per month and drank 0-2 drinks at a time. Among the cohort, 19% reported binge drinking (6 or more drinks) on at least 1 occasion in the prior year. Median follow-up was 512 days and 31% of patients had a recurrence of AF. Frequency of alcohol intake was not associated with AF recurrence. However, binge drinking (>5-6 drinks at a time or binge drinking weekly or more) was associated with an increased risk of AF recurrence (HR 3.7, p<.05). This association persisted after adjusting for confounders including diabetes, heart failure, and left atrial size.
Moderate consumption of alcohol on a regular basis does not increase the risk for AF recurrence. However, binge drinking may increase the risk of AF recurrence even after AF ablation.
Poster Sessions, Expo North
Sunday, March 10, 2013, 9:45 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Session Title: Arrhythmias: AF/SVT V
Abstract Category: 4. Arrhythmias: AF/SVT
Presentation Number: 1189-30
- 2013 American College of Cardiology Foundation