Alcohol Could Be The Main Trigger For Heart Rhythm Condition

A recent 2021 study published in the journal JAMA Cardiology and presented at the annual Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association discussed findings on the main cause of atrial fibrillation (AF) or irregular heart rhythm. Surprisingly, caffeine, exercise, diet or lack of sleep was found to be insignificant, compared to alcohol consumption, when it came to triggers for AF.  Lead author Gregory Marcus, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at UCSF stated

“Although caffeine was the most commonly selected trigger for testing, we found no evidence of a near-term relationship between caffeine consumption and atrial fibrillation. In contrast, alcohol consumption most consistently exhibited heightened risks of atrial fibrillation.”


The study comprised 450 participants, mainly white males. They used electrocardiogram recordings alongside an app to record triggers for arrhythmia. Surprisingly, alcohol was the only trigger that consistently resulted in more self-reported AF episodes. Concluding that avoiding alcohol could lessen the chances of an AF episode. This research could be important as AF is on the rise worldwide, causing more than 150,000 deaths per year in the US alone.