Smoking, drinking up ”heart flutter” risk

16

Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol significantly increases the risk of irregular heart beats or atrial fibrillation, a study has found.
Lifetime risk is a useful method to quantify risk of atrial fibrillation over a person’s lifetime. However, data are scarce with respect to the lifetime risk of atrial fibrillation in the presence of one or multiple risk factors such as obesity and smoking.
Researchers from Boston University in the US found that among individuals aged 55 years or older, the overall lifetime risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) was 37 per cent and was influenced by the burden of risk factors.
"We examined the lifetime risk of atrial fibrillation, which measures the cumulative risk of developing a disease during the remainder of an individual’s life," said LudovicTrinquart, an assistant professor at Boston University.
"It is essential to look at lifetime risks in addition to short-term risks, because it may enable early identification of individuals at higher long-term risk and facilitate lifestyle change counselling," said Trinquart.
Established risk factors for developing atrial fibrillation within 10 years include cigarette smoking, alcohol misuse, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, myocardial infarction, and heart failure. However, prior research has provided little insight on the lifetime risk of atrial fibrillation.
"By contrast with the relative risk of atrial fibrillation, lifetime risk is an easy way for clinicians to communicate future risk of atrial fibrillation to individuals," researchers wrote in a study published in the journal BMJ. 

Join our newsetter

Sign up today for free and be the first to get notified of new updates.

SHARE