What is the prevalence of holiday heart syndrome (HHS) in the US?

Updated: May 30, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence Rosenthal, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS; Chief Editor: Jose M Dizon, MD  more...
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Answer

The frequency with which cardiac arrhythmias can be attributed to alcohol use is unclear owing to differing data. One study showed alcohol as the causative agent in 35% of cases of new-onset atrial fibrillation and in 63% of cases in patients younger than 65 years. [23] Conversely, another study showed revealed 5%-10% of all new episodes of atrial fibrillation were attributable to alcohol use. [9]

The frequency of alcohol-related disturbance depends on the population studied. For example, when considering patients hospitalized for alcohol-related rhythm disturbances, atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter appear to be most common arrhythmias. [1, 3] When considering an otherwise healthy, asymptomatic outpatient population, sinus tachycardia appears to be the most common arrhythmia. [24]


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