It is best to use a cup in the evening every now and then

A little bit of alcohol doesn’t hurt – right? This depends on the regularity and previous diseases, doctors warn.

Frankfurt (dpa / tmn) – The opinion is widespread that regular consumption of small amounts of alcohol does not harm or protect the heart. Wrong, heart experts warned.

Because regular alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing atrial fibrillation – even in healthy people who have not had a previous illness, the German Heart Foundation explains and points to a recent study by the Cardiovascular Center at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE). Accordingly, even a small glass of wine consumed daily can have heart-health consequences.

Data were evaluated from more than 100,000 people who had not previously experienced atrial fibrillation. More than 5,800 participants developed atrial fibrillation for the first time during the 14-year study period, and the risk of this increased the more regularly consumed alcohol. Even an intake of 12 grams of alcohol per day, which corresponds to a small glass of wine or beer, increased the likelihood by 16 percent compared to the abstaining participants. With up to two drinks a day, the risk was 28 percent higher. According to the experts, there’s basically nothing wrong with a little glass every now and then – provided you’re healthy.

As many as 2 million people in Germany suffer from atrial fibrillation – many without knowing it. According to the German Heart Foundation, the first indications are a sluggish heart and a rapid heartbeat. Experts recommend avoiding alcohol altogether or at least drastically reducing your consumption.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210406-99-103035 / 2

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German Heart Foundation for Alcohol-Induced Atrial Fibrillation

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