This doesn’t deal with anesthesia directly however I thought this was interesting so I wanted to share it with our readers.
By Kelly Young
Edited by Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM
Abstaining from alcohol may help prevent recurrent atrial fibrillation, according to a New England Journal of Medicine study.
In Australia, 140 patients with atrial fibrillation who consumed 10 or more standard alcoholic drinks per week were randomized to an abstinence or control (usual drinking) group. Over 6 months, the abstinence group reduced their average alcohol intake from 17 to 2 drinks a week, while the control group reduced theirs from 16 to 13.
Recurrences of atrial fibrillation lasting 30 seconds or more were less common in the abstinence group (53% vs. 73% of control patients). The median percentage of time spent in atrial fibrillation was also lower in the abstinence group (0.5% vs. 1.2%).
While noting some of the trial’s limitations, an editorialist writes, “The current study presents a compelling argument for alcohol abstinence as part of the successful management of atrial fibrillation.”