The correct answer is: B. Increased risk
Alcohol consumption has a well-known association with increased risk of developing AF. In a review in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) of many prior studies,1 it was reported that:
♦ > 21 drinks/wk increased AF by 39%
♦ > 35 drinks/wk increased AF by 45% -90%
♦ In women, ≥ 2 drinks/day increased AF by 60%; 1.5 drinks/day increase AF by 25-46%
♦ Each drink/day increased AF by ~8%
Alcohol can be an important risk factor in the development of new-onset AF in young patients with otherwise structurally normal hearts, the so-called “holiday heart.” Alcohol is also linked to increased frequency of AF episodes in patients with paroxysmal AF as described by researchers at UCSF.2 The mechanism is thought to be mediated by a shorter atrial refractory period. The type of alcohol found to be the most common trigger? Beer.