Skip Navigation LinksHome > April 2010 - Volume 11 - Issue 4 > Alcohol and arrhythmias: a comprehensive review
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Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine:
doi: 10.2459/JCM.0b013e328334b42d
Review article

Alcohol and arrhythmias: a comprehensive review

George, Anila; Figueredo, Vincent Mb

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Abstract

The use of alcohol as a social lubricant has been ubiquitous in human societies since ancient times. It has also long been recognized that alcohol produces undesirable cardiovascular effects, especially when imbibed in excess. Numerous investigators have noted a causal relationship between alcohol and arrhythmias, as well as sudden cardiac death. We have undertaken a comprehensive review of the literature on alcohol as a potential trigger for arrhythmias. We have reviewed the major epidemiological studies undertaken on this subject. We have also explored pathophysiological mechanisms that drive the arrythmogenic effects of alcohol. In conclusion, although there is definite proof in the literature to implicate alcohol as a culprit in arrhythmias, the relationship is complex.

© 2010 Italian Federation of Cardiology

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