Alcohol and heart disease

Does alcohol cause heart disease?

Alcohol causes two important types of heart disease. Common effect of alcohol on the heart is an abnormal heart rhythm. It could vary from occasional irregularity in the heart rhythm to total irregularity known as atrial fibrillation. Long term use of large quantities of alcohol can weaken the heart muscle and result in alcohol related heart muscle disease known as alcoholic cardiomyopathy.

What is Holiday Heart Syndrome?

Holiday heart syndrome usually occurs following an alcoholic binge, which results in atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a fast irregular rhythm of the heart originating from the upper chambers of the heart. The individual feels fast irregular heart beats and sometimes dizziness or even transient blackout. Holiday heart syndrome can recur with the next bout of alcoholism.

What is alcoholic cardiomyopathy?

Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is a form of dilated cardiomyopathy in which heart muscle becomes weak and the heart enlarges. The individual becomes progressively breathless and develops features of frank heart failure. It can improve with total abstinence, but can recur with relapse of alcoholism.

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