28 january 2022

Alcohol consumption in relation to the incidence of atrial fibrillation in an elderly Chinese population

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption is a known modifiable risk factor for atrial fibrillation. The association, however, might differ according to gender. We investigated gender-specific associations between alcohol consumption and incident atrial fibrillation in an elderly Chinese population.

METHODS: Our study participants were elderly residents (>/= 65 years) recruited from five community health centers in the urban area of Shanghai (n = 6,618). Alcohol intake was classified as never drinkers and current light-to-moderate (< 40 g/day) and heavy drinkers (>/= 40 g/day). Atrial fibrillation was detected by a 30-s single-lead electrocardiography (ECG, AliveCor((R)) Heart Monitor) and further evaluated with a regular 12-lead ECG.

RESULTS: During a median of 2.1 years (interquartile range: 2.0-2.2) follow-up, the incidence rate of atrial fibrillation was 1.10% in all study participants. It was slightly but non-significantly higher in men (n = 2849) than women (n = 3769, 1.30% vs. 0.96%, P = 0.19) and in current drinkers (n = 793) than never drinkers (n = 5825, 1.64% vs. 1.03%,P = 0.12). In both unadjusted and adjusted analyses, there was interaction between sex and current alcohol intake in relation to the incidence of atrial fibrillation (P < 0.0001). After adjustment for confounding factors, current drinkers had a significantly higher incidence rate of atrial fibrillation than never drinkers in women (12.96% [7/54] vs. 0.78% [29/3715], adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 10.25, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.54-29.67,P < 0.0001), but not in men (0.81% [6/739] vs. 1.47% [31/2110], OR = 0.62, 95% CI: 0.25-1.51,P = 0.29).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed a significant association between alcohol intake and the incidence of atrial fibrillation in elderly Chinese women, but not men.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Ye X. F.; Zhang W.; Chen Y.; Miao C. Y.; Huang Q. F.; Sheng C. S.; Shao S.; Wang D.; Xu S. K.; Lei L.; Zhang D.; Chen Y. L.; Hu L. X.; Xia J. H.; Cheng Y. B.; Wang Y.; Guo Q. H.; Li Y.; Lowres N.; Freedman B.; Wang J. G.
  • Issue

    J Geriatr Cardiol . 2022 Jan 28;19(1):52-60
  • Published Date

    28 january 2022