Objectives The aim of this study was to assess the hypothesis that alcohol consumption is associated with onset of atrial fibrillation (AF) and/or heart failure (HF). Background The connection between ethanol intake and AF or HF remains controversial. Methods The study population was 22,824 AF- or HF-free subjects (48% men, age ≥35 years) randomly recruited from the general population included in the Moli-sani study, for whom complete data on HF, AF, and alcohol consumption were available. The cohort was followed up to December 31, 2015, for a median of 8.2 years (183,912 person-years). Incident cases were identified through linkage to the Molise regional archive of hospital discharges. Hazard ratios were calculated using Cox proportional hazard models and cubic spline regression. Results A total of 943 incident cases of HF and 554 of AF were identified. In comparison with never drinkers, both former and occasional drinkers showed comparable risk for developing HF. Drinking alcohol in the range of 1 to 4 drinks/day was associated with a lower risk for HF, with a 22% maximum risk reduction at 20 g/day, independent of common confounders. In contrast, no association of alcohol consumption with onset of AF was observed. Very similar results were obtained after restriction of the analyses to regular or only wine drinkers or according to sex, age, social status, or adherence to the Mediterranean diet. Conclusions Consumption of alcohol in moderation was associated with a lower incidence of HF but not with development of AF.
- alcohol consumption
- atrial fibrillation
- heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine