Alcohol consumption is associated with a heightened risk of stroke among patients with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation (AFib), according to new findings published in European Heart Journal.
“Implementation of a healthy lifestyle is an important part of guideline-recommended optimal care of patients with AFib,” wrote first author So-Ryoung Lee, MD, a specialist at Seoul National University Hospital in South Korea, and colleagues. “When a new disease is diagnosed, it can be a good opportunity to intervene with respect to the patient’s lifestyle.”
After five years, more than 3,100 patients were diagnosed with a confirmed ischemic stroke. Patients who either never drank at all or stopped after their AFib diagnosis faced a lower risk of stroke than current drinkers. Also, among current drinkers, frequent drinking and binge drinking were associated with an especially high risk of stroke.
“Lifestyle interventions, including attention to alcohol consumption, should be encouraged as part of a comprehensive approach in the management of patients with a new diagnosis of AFib to improve clinical outcomes,” the authors concluded.