Cutting booze improves AF control

Abstinence leads to better symptom control, confirms Aussie study

AF patients who cut back on the booze enjoy better symptom control and more time between fibrillation episodes, a landmark Australian study suggests.

Abstinence led to a 37% increase in days free of any atrial tachyarrhythmia lasting 30 seconds or more (118 vs 86 days) in patients with paroxysmal AF, according to the study led by the Alfred Hospital and Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne.

After six months of follow-up, abstainers also spent significantly less time in AF than control patients who followed their usual drinking patterns (mean 5.6% vs 8.2%), the researchers told the American College of Cardiology World Congress in the US on Monday.

Further, just 10% of abstinent patients reported moderate to severe symptoms compared with 32% of controls.

Reducing alcohol intake was also associated with significant reductions in blood pressure, weight and BMI, according to