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Alcohol and AFib Risks: Is It Safe to Drink?

Drinking certain kinds of alcohol daily can raise your chances of getting atrial fibrillation (AFib), a heart condition that makes your heart beat really fast. AFib can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart conditions.

Moderate drinking (one to three drinks a day). A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found a strong link between moderate drinking and getting AFib. Oddly enough, the study found this to be true for people who drink wine and liquor, but not beer.

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When Someone With AFib Has Trouble

Most episodes of atrial fibrillation aren't life-threatening, but an irregular heartbeat can cause complications like a heart attack or stroke. When you're prepared to spot and handle what's going on, you can help your loved one get the medical care he needs faster, and ease your worries, too.   To get started, make a list of his health conditions and the medications he takes. That way, you can share the list with medical professionals during any emergency. If your loved one takes blood thinners,...

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This can be tricky, because many studies suggest that light or moderate drinking may be good for your heart and can cut your risk of heart disease and stroke. So it’s important to weigh the risks of both. Talk to your doctor about your health history and what makes the most sense for you.

Heavy drinking (more than three drinks a day). This bumps up your risk, and it seems to go up the more you drink. Studies suggest that for every extra drink you have a day, your risk goes up by 8%.

Binge drinking (more than five drinks on one occasion). This also puts you at a larger risk of getting AFib. Studies found this to be true for people who drink wine or hard liquor. It’s not clear if this is true for drinking beer.

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