Heart Health

Rising alcohol intake linked to higher risk of atrial fibrillation

Research we're watching

By , Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

cropped photo showing the torso of a woman who is pouring red wine from a bottle into a glass

People who increase their drinking in later midlife may raise their risk of atrial fibrillation (afib), a new study finds.

The study included 43,758 people ages 50 to 64 who completed lifestyle questionnaires once in the mid-1990s and again five years later. During the median follow-up period of nearly 16 years, 5,312 people were diagnosed with afib, a heart rhythm disorder that raises the risk of stroke.

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About the Author

photo of Julie Corliss

Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

Julie Corliss is the executive editor of the Harvard Heart Letter. Before working at Harvard, she was a medical writer and editor at HealthNews, a consumer newsletter affiliated with The New England Journal of Medicine. She … See Full Bio
View all posts by Julie Corliss

About the Reviewer

photo of Christopher P. Cannon, MD

Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing

Dr. Christopher P. Cannon is editor in chief of the Harvard Heart Letter. He is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and senior physician in the Preventive Cardiology section of the Cardiovascular Division at … See Full Bio
View all posts by Christopher P. Cannon, MD

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You might also be interested in…

Managing Atrial Fibrillation

Managing Atrial Fibrillation will explain what atrial fibrillation is, how to know if you have it, its causes, and the treatments available. Afib can be a complex health condition, so the more you know about it, the better you will be able to work with your doctor. If afib is monitored and treated correctly, you can minimize its symptoms and help to prevent serious complications like stroke and heart damage.

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