The study, which was published Wednesday in European Heart Journal, included five community-based cohorts from Europe with 107,845 participants. After eliminating individuals with a history of Afib, the study was reduced to 100,092 subjects.
Average alcohol consumption was assessed in gram per day and categorized according to the World Health Organization average volume drinking categories. Participants were asked how often they consumed beer, wine and spirits, as well as the drinking pattern.
Over the study’s 14 years, 5,854 people developed Afib, according to questionnaires and hospital records.
The researchers acknowledged the study’s reliance on self-reporting was a limitation.
“Together with a recent randomized trial showing that a reduction in alcohol intake led to a reduction in Afib recurrence, these data suggest that lowering alcohol consumption may be important for both prevention and management of Afib,” Drs. Jorge Wong and David Conen, both of McMaster University’s Population Health Research Institute in Hamilton, Ontario, wrote in an accompanying editorial.