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Is Caffeine Bad For Atrial Fibrillation

Afib Less Likely To Occur In Patients Who Drink Less

Can Caffeine and Alcohol Trigger AFib?

The study was small just 140 patients, almost all of them men. Patients who were told to abstain did an admirable job of reducing their alcohol intake, with 61% of them fully abstaining from alcohol, and another 15% keeping their intake to two or fewer drinks per week. Overall, alcohol intake in the abstinence group dropped from an average of almost 17 drinks a week to just two drinks a week. Patients who continued drinking alcohol as usual also reduced their intake somewhat, from an average of 16 drinks per week to an average of 13 drinks per week.

The researchers wanted to see if afib was less likely to occur in patients who drank less alcohol, and in fact thats what they found. Afib was less likely to recur in the abstinence group, and when it did occur, it took longer to appear than was the case in the control group .

That doesnt mean that the abstinence group was free from afib. Over half of the patients in the abstinence group did have recurrent afib. But that was significantly lower than the 73% recurrence rate in the control group.

Is Caffeine And Alcohol Dangerous For People Suffering From Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common cardiac arrhythmia, and the disease is characterised by irregular and fast palpitation. The disease is caused by an ill state in the upper ventricles of the heart. The irregular palpitation is often asymptomatic. However, fibrillation can cause palpitation, shortness of breath, unconsciousness and chest pain. The disease is connected to a high risk of developing dementia, strokes and heart failure.

Alcohol Abstinence Is Effective For Those Willing To Make This Lifestyle Change

An important point is that the small size of the study was in part because a lot of people dont want to consider giving up alcohol. In fact, over 70% of patients who were eligible for the study were unwilling to enroll in it because they didnt want to stop drinking alcohol.

Lifestyle changes have to be tolerable and sustainable in order to be effective. But for patients who are willing to reduce their alcohol intake or eliminate it completely, this study suggests that they may have less afib as a result. And some people will likely find this to be an acceptable trade-off.

About the Author

Amy Leigh Miller, MD, PhD, Contributor

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New Study Examines Impact Of Alcohol Abstinence On Afib

This month, a group of Australian researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine looking at the effect of modifying alcohol intake in patients who had known afib. To get into the study, participants had to drink a moderate amount of alcohol. The study defined moderate as 10 or more standard drinks a week. Patients with evidence of alcohol dependence or abuse could not be enrolled in the study, but a pattern of binge drinking was allowed.

Once in the study, patients were randomly assigned to either continue drinking as they had been, or to abstain from alcohol for six months. All study participants were asked to send an electrocardiogram twice daily using a mobile phone app, unless they already had a pacemaker or implantable loop recorder that could be used to monitor their heart rhythm. If they experienced symptoms, they were to transmit additional heart rhythm tracings during and after those symptoms, as well.

Does Caffeine Impact Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation in healthy adolescents after highly caffeinated ...

If you have atrial fibrillation or experience heart palpitations, you have probably heard that you should stop your consumption of caffeine. Dr. J. Christian Hays, Electrophysiologist for the St. Elizabeth Heart & Vascular Institute, says that is not necessarily true.

The practice of eliminating caffeine from your diet if you have heart rhythm issues is an old standard of care, he says. Since 2000, there have been numerous clinical studies about the effects of caffeine on AFib and they lack evidence showing caffeine has a negative impact on AFib.

AFib is the most common form of heart arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat. As you age, it becomes more common. Dr. Hays says, At age 40, you have about a 1 percent chance of having AFib. By age 80, the prevalence increases to 10 percent.

AFib may be caused by many factors including:

  • Obesity paired with sleep apnea
  • Heart disease
  • Binge drinking
  • Other chronic conditions, such as diabetes and asthma

According to the American Heart Association, caffeine has many effects on the human body, but there have been no studies that link caffeine to increased risk of arrhythmia. However, if you also have high blood pressure, drinking more than five cups of coffee each day can raise blood pressure.

Dr. Hays recommends keeping your daily consumption consistent. He adds, If you feel palpitations today when you consume caffeine, you may be better off avoiding it.

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Alcohol Caffeine Are Common Triggers Of Irregular Heart Rhythm

By Manas Mishra

4 Min Read

– The most common triggers of atrial fibrillation – an irregular heart rhythm thats a leading cause of stroke – are avoidable behaviors like drinking alcohol or coffee, a recent study suggests.

People dont always realize when theyre experiencing atrial fibrillation, or AFib, but some feel unpleasant chest palpitations or a racing, irregular heartbeat.

Some patients have AFib 24 hours a day. In others, the irregular heartbeat is paroxysmal, that is, it comes and goes. For the current study, reported in the journal Heart Rhythm, researchers surveyed 1,295 patients with symptomatic paroxysmal AFib and found the most common behaviors that triggered episodes of the arrhythmia were alcohol consumption, caffeine consumption and exercise.

The survey asked about 11 possible triggers: alcohol, caffeine, lack of sleep, exercise, not exercising, consuming cold beverages, consuming cold foods, high sodium diet, consuming large meals, dehydration, and lying on ones left side.

About three-fourths of the patients said at least one of those behaviors triggered AFib some or all of the time.

Alcohol consumption was cited by 35 percent, followed by coffee drinking , exercise and lack of sleep .

The researchers say its possible the behaviors dont actually trigger the episodes but instead make the symptoms worse.

The study wasnt designed to tell whether cutting back on these triggers would reduce the frequency of AFib episodes.

Whats Risky About Afib

AFib may cause no symptoms. But symptoms like a pounding or skipping heartbeat, chest pain, or dizziness can happen and are often related to a reduction in the amount of blood the heart pumps out. These symptoms may go away on their own or get better when you take medicine. These episodes may happen more often, with symptoms that may last longer.

AFib can become more persistent over time. It can lead to risks such as:

  • An abnormal heart rhythm. On its own, this may not be life-threatening. But it can cause serious complications if untreated.
  • Blood clots. When your heart doesn’t beat strongly enough, your blood slows down and pools. Clumps called clots form in the pooled blood. A blood clot can block the flow of blood to your organs. A blockage to your brain can cause a stroke. The chance of having a stroke is about four times higher in people with AFib than in those without this condition.
  • Heart failure. Over time, your heart can get so weak that it can’t pump out enough blood to meet your body’s needs. This is called heart failure.

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Energy Drinks And Atrial Fibrillation

In 2012 the Food and Drug Administration investigated the energy drinks that contained caffeine, due to alert on safety. Several types of these caffeinated drinks were linked to unexpected death in young and healthy subjects Energy drinks are a group of beverages, available to general public, used to provide boost in energy, maintain wakefulness, provide alertness, and promote cognitive and mood enhancement.

Energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement in the American adolescent and young adult. About 6% of young men in United States report to consume ED daily.

The International Society of Sports Nutrition published a position paper on Energy drinks that analyzed effects of ED on exercise performance, and explore the safety of these beverages.

Energy drinks contain caffeine and often other substances such as guarana , gingko biloba, taurine and carbohydrates. Interestingly ED that contain natural ingredients such as gingko so that manufacturers of these products are not required to include the caffeine content of these herbal supplements in the nutritional information.

The guarana plant and berry has one of the highest naturally occurring levels of caffeine, and there are also traces of theophylline and theobromine. Instead of referring to caffeine, many companies and websites market their products using the term âguaranineâ when describing the active ingredient.

Safety concern comes from isolated case report that has not established a direct link.

Coffee Could Be Protective

Caffeine and Risk of Arrhythmia

The researchers also relied on participants reporting how much coffee they drank. Those responses could have been variable as people may have reported their intake inaccurately. While the UK Biobank did ask participants about how much tea they drank, Marcus’ research did not evaluate other sources of caffeine such as tea or cola.

It’s also worth noting that the study Marcus led looked at whether coffee affected arrhythmiasnot specifically caffeine, a well-known and well-loved stimulant that can be consumed in forms other than coffee.

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Caffeines Impact On Arrhythmias

Some research has looked specifically at the effects of caffeine on irregular heart rhythms. One study found that the instances of arrhythmia were no different among caffeine consumers and those who didnt consume caffeine.

In a small Brazilian study, participants with heart problems were randomly assigned to drink a caffeinated or decaffeinated drink, then assessed with electrocardiograms and stress tests. Researchers found no difference in irregular heart rhythms between the two groups.

So whats the bottom line on coffees role in heart health, specifically irregular heart rhythms?

The available research suggests that caffeine in doses typically consumed, about 400 mg a day or about five cups of coffee, does not provoke arrhythmias, says Helga Van Herle, MD, MS, a cardiologist at Keck Medicine of USC and associate professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Is Caffeine Safe Protective For Patients With Afib Arrhythmias


Some caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea may be safe and may reduce the frequency of arrhythmias, according to a state-of-the-art-review published April 16 in JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology.

Aleksandr Voskoboinik, MBBS, et al., analyzed multiple population-based studies to determine an association between caffeine intake and its effects on atrial and ventricular arrhythmias. The studies consistently showed a decrease in atrial fibrillation with an increase in caffeine ingestion, with one meta-analysis of 228,465 participants showing AFib frequency decreasing by 6 percent in regular coffee drinkers, and a further analysis of 115,993 patients showing a 13 percent risk reduction.

The authors found that caffeine does not appear to increase the likelihood of ventricular arrhythmia. In addition, caffeine doses up to 500 mg daily did not increase the severity or rate of ventricular arrhythmias. A randomized study of 103 post-MI patients who received an average of 353 mg/day resulted in improved heart rate and no significant arrhythmias. Only two studies showed an increased risk for ventricular arrhythmias, in which patients ingested at least 10 cups and nine cups per day, respectively. According to the authors, energy drinks should be avoided by patients with pre-existing heart conditions. Three quarters of patients with pre-existing heart conditions who consumed two or more energy drinks per day reported palpitations within 24 hours.

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What About Following A Special Diet

What you eat also certainly plays a role in managing yourracing heartbeat.

Ms. Zumpano encourages her patients to follow a Mediterranean-style diet, which puts the focus on plant-based foods. This means building meals and snacks that are rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, nuts and olive oil.

Specific nutritious foods that are a great addition to yourdiet include:

  • Fish rich in omega-3s such as salmon, sardines, herring, tuna and mackerel
  • Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries and other fresh fruits
  • Oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice and other whole grains
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts

On the flip side, foods you should limit include:

  • Red meat
  • Processed foods
  • Baked goods and other sugary foods and drinks

You should minimize the junk, for lack of a better word, Ms. Zumpano says. Processed foods, fast foods, fried foods and convenience foods are all high in salt and can all be classified as junk.

A high-sodium diet can also be a trigger not to mention that it can lead to high blood pressure, which also increases your risk of stroke.

Drinking Two To Three Cups A Day Was Associated With Greatest Heart Benefits

Afib and How It Affects Your Heart Rate
American College of Cardiology
Drinking coffee — particularly two to three cups a day — is not only associated with a lower risk of heart disease and dangerous heart rhythms but also with living longer, according to recent studies. These trends held true for both people with and without cardiovascular disease. Researchers said the analyses — the largest to look at coffee’s potential role in heart disease and death — provide reassurance that coffee isn’t tied to new or worsening heart disease and may actually be heart protective.

Drinking coffee — particularly two to three cups a day — is not only associated with a lower risk of heart disease and dangerous heart rhythms but also with living longer, according to studies being presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 71st Annual Scientific Session. These trends held true for both people with and without cardiovascular disease. Researchers said the analyses — the largest to look at coffee’s potential role in heart disease and death — provide reassurance that coffee isn’t tied to new or worsening heart disease and may actually be heart protective.

Although two to three cups of coffee a day seemed to be the most favorable overall, Kistler said that people shouldn’t increase their coffee intake, particularly if it makes them feel anxious or uncomfortable.

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Cutting Down On Alcohol Helps If You Have Atrial Fibrillation

In medical school, there are lots of cutesy names that help us learn and remember things. Holiday heart is one of these it reminds doctors-in-training that binge drinking alcohol can lead to an episode of atrial fibrillation . The association is a real one I have met a number of patients who suffered an unfortunate introduction to afib courtesy of a night of heavy alcohol intake. When that happens, we tell patients to avoid future binge drinking, as excessive drinking could cause them to have recurrent episodes of afib.

Does Coffee Disturb Your Hearts Rhythm

BERLIN, GERMANY – JANUARY 24: Cups of just-brewed flat white, a variation on the classic … cappuccino, stand on a counter at Bonanza Coffee Roasters on January 24, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. Bonanza founder Kiduk Reus is among a growing number of so-called third wave artisinal coffee bean roasters who are finding a niche market in Europe and the USA for their carefully-crafted and expensive coffee. Reus insists that the cast iron parts, the slow-roasting abilities and hands-on controls of his flame-roasting, refurbished 1918 Probat machine allow him to develop the most flavour from his carefully selected beans.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of heart arrhythmia in the U.S. and Europe, affecting millions of people every day. A-fib is a condition where your heart beats irregularly and less efficiently than normal. Some people experience a-fib without even being aware of it, but it is a serious condition that leads to an estimated 750,000 hospitalizations per year in the U.S. alone.

As appealing as it sounds, this advice is wrong, at least for men.

In a study published in 2019 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, Vijaykumar Bodar and colleagues at Harvard Medical School looked at data from nearly 19,000 men who participated in the long-term Physicians Health Study. They looked at the risk of atrial fibrillation in men drinking anywhere from no coffee at all to 4 or more cups per day.

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Coffee Caffeine And Atrial Fibrillation

Caffeine is the most widely consumed behaviorally active substance in the world and almost all caffeine comes from dietary sources, most of it from coffee Associations between coffee, caffeine and AF have had conflicting results. Coffee contains several hundred different substances including lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, alkaloids and phenolic compounds. Nevertheless effects of coffee on cardiovascular system have been mainly related to caffeine.

Caffeine is an alkaloid present in coffee beans, in humans come from a number of dietary sources i.e. tea, coffee, cocoa beverages, chocolate bars and soft drinks and recently energy drinks. . The content of caffeine of these items ranges from 4 to 180 mg/150 ml for coffee, 15 to 29 mg/180 ml for cola, 24 to 50 mg/150 ml for tea, 2 to 7 mg/150 ml for cocoa and 1 to 36 mg/28 mg for chocolate, 100 to 286 mg for common ED, however some brands of ED contain 550 mg caffeine per can or bottle.

The clinical effect of intakes of caffeine from coffee, tea, caffeinated soda and energy drinks on AF remain inconclusive. The patho-physiology of the arrhythmias have been described in detail, however the mechanism underlying electrical changes and the possible triggering factors remain largely unknown. Several studies evaluated the acute effects of caffeine on heart rate and found controversial results.

Caffeine toxicity produces supraventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation and ventricular fibrillation.


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