Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 259

Posts Tagged ‘alcohol’

Drinking alcohol makes your heart race

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 18 marzo 2018

Barcelona, Spain The more alcohol you drink, the higher your heart rate gets, according to research presented today at EHRA 2018 Congress1, organized by the European Society of Cardiology.
Binge drinking has been linked with atrial fibrillation, a phenomenon called “the holiday heart syndrome”.2 The connection was initially based on small studies and anecdotal evidence from the late 1970s.The Munich Beer Related Electrocardiogram Workup (MunichBREW) study was conducted by researchers from the LMU University Hospital Munich Department of Cardiology, supported by the German Cardiovascular Research Centre (DZHK) and the European Commission. It was the first assessment of the acute effects of alcohol on electrocardiogram (ECG) readings. The study included more than 3,000 people attending the 2015 Munich Oktoberfest.
ECG readings were taken and breath alcohol concentrations were measured. Age, sex, heart disease, heart medications, and smoking status were recorded. Participants were, on average, 35 years old and 30% were women. The average breath alcohol concentration was 0.85 g/kg. Increasing breath alcohol concentration was significantly associated with sinus tachycardia of more than 100 beats per minute in 25.9% of the cohort. The current analysis of the MunichBREW study looked in more detail at the quantitative ECG measurements in 3,012 participants. The researchers investigated the association between blood alcohol concentration and four ECG parameters: excitation (heart rate), conduction (PR interval, QRS complex), and repolarisation (QT interval).Increased heart rate was associated with higher breath alcohol concentration, confirming the initial results of the MunichBREW study. The association was linear, with no threshold. Alcohol consumption had no effect on the other three parameters.“The more alcohol you drink, the higher your heart rate gets,” said Dr Stefan Brunner, a cardiologist at the University Hospital Munich, Munich, Germany, who is one of the lead authors.
The researchers are currently investigating whether the increase in heart rate with alcohol consumption could lead to heart rhythm disorders in the longer-term.Dr Moritz Sinner, another lead author, said: “We cannot yet conclude that a higher heart rate induced by alcohol is harmful. But people with heart conditions already have a higher heart rate, which in many cases triggers arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation. So it is plausible that the higher heart rate following alcohol consumption could lead to arrhythmias.”He added, “Most people in our study were young and healthy. If we conducted the same study in older people or heart patients we might have found an association between drinking alcohol and arrhythmias.”The authors speculated that alcohol creates an imbalance between the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous systems. They are currently investigating how it does this.

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Alcohol related hospitalisation is associated with a doubled risk of ischaemic stroke risk in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 28 agosto 2016

cardiology congress-2016Rome, Italy According to a study presented at ESC Congress 2016 today by Dr Faris Al-Khalili, cardiologist, Karolinska Institutet, Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. The observational study was conducted in more than 25 000 non-valvular atrial fibrillation patients at low risk of stroke. “Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disturbance and is associated with a five-fold increased risk of ischaemic stroke,” said Dr Al-Khalili. “AF is also associated with increased mortality, reduced quality of life and a higher risk of heart failure.”Treatment with oral anticoagulants reduces the risk of stroke and is recommended according to the number of stroke risk factors. Risk is estimated using the CHA2DS2-VASc score which gives points for clinical risk factors.(3) Patients with non-valvular AF under the age of 65 and a score of 0 in men or 1 in women are considered to be at low risk for ischaemic stroke, and oral anticoagulation therapy is not indicated.Dr Al-Khalili said: “Even if the risk for stroke is low, it is not negligible, and a number of such ‘low risk’ patients do present with ischaemic stroke in clinical practice and in patient registers.” The objective of this study was to assess the incidence and predictors of ischaemic stroke among low risk patients with non-valvular AF. This retrospective study included 25 252 low risk non-valvular AF patients (age 18–64) out of a total of 345 123 AF patients identified from the Swedish nationwide Danderyd Hospitalpatient register for the period 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2012. The median age was 55 years and 72% were men.The patient register holds information about all hospitalisations and visits to hospital-affiliated open clinics in Sweden. Socioeconomic variables were obtained from a database for health insurance and labour market studies. Information about current medication was obtained from the National Drug Register, which has information about all dispensed prescription in Sweden and is 100% complete.During a median follow-up of five years, ischaemic stroke occurred at an annual rate of 3.4 per 1000 patient-years. The overall mortality was 7.5 per 1000 patient-years in patients without ischaemic stroke, and 29.6 per 1000 patient-years in patients who had suffered an ischaemic stroke during follow-up.In the multivariable analysis, the only variables that remained significantly associated with an increased risk of ischaemic stroke were age (hazard ratio [HR] 1.06, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05–1.08, p Dr Al-Khalili concluded: “Doctors should ask their AF patients about alcohol use and advise patients to cut down if they are drinking more than is recommended. The beneficial link between oral anticoagulant use and ischaemic stroke in this low risk population without a recognised indication for these drugs needs further investigation, including the benefit to harm (bleeding) ratio.”

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Drinking alcohol during pregnancy

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 1 luglio 2010

Mothers who drink alcohol while they are pregnant may be damaging the fertility of their future sons, according to new research to be presented at the 26th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Rome today (Tuesday 29 June). Doctors in Denmark found that if mothers had drunk 4.5 or more drinks a week while pregnant, then the sperm concentration of their sons, measured about 20 years later, was a third lower in comparison to men who were not exposed to alcohol while in the womb. A drink was measured as 12 grams of alcohol, which is the equivalent to one 330 ml beer, one small (120 ml) glass of wine or one glass of spirits (40 ml).
The World Health Organization defines a “normal” level of sperm concentration as being approximately 20 million/ml or more. Dr Ramlau-Hansen said: “The reduced sperm concentrations in the most exposed men are rather close to the lower end of the WHO’s normal range for fertility. The probability of conception increases with increased sperm concentration up to 40 million/ml and so it is possible that the most exposed men could be less fertile than the least exposed.”
She found that semen volume and total sperm count (which also affect a man’s fertility) were associated with prenatal alcohol exposure; these were highest in sons whose mothers drank 1-1.5 drinks a week. The researchers could find no association between alcohol exposure and the movement and shape of the sperm or with any reproductive hormones such as testosterone.

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