How is drug and alcohol abuse related to atrial fibrillation (Afib) (AF)?

Updated: Apr 09, 2019
  • Author: Lawrence Rosenthal, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS; Chief Editor: Jeffrey N Rottman, MD  more...
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Answer

Stimulants, alcohol, and cocaine can trigger AF. Acute or chronic alcohol use (ie, holiday or Saturday night heart, also known as alcohol-related cardiomyopathy) and illicit drug use (ie, stimulants, methamphetamines, cocaine) have been specifically found to be related to AF. Whereas the association of more than moderate chronic alcohol use and AF has been reported in multiple studies previously, a more recent community-based study found an association with even moderate alcohol use with an increased risk of AF. [22]


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