Daily drinking comes with more risk than binge drinking, study finds

While some studies have shown that drinking red wine in moderation can have some health benefits, a new study found the frequency of drinking rather than quantity of drinks can affect the risk for atrial fibrillation.

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Researchers in Seoul analyzed data on 9,776,956 individuals and compared the effect of frequent drinking to binge drinking and the risk of developing A-fib. A-fib is the most common form of heart arrhythmia, a condition in which the heart beats too quickly or too slowly, according to Medical News Today. The common symptoms of A-fib are an irregular or fast pulse, palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness and chest pain.

The study, published in the EP Eurospace, suggests drinking less often may also be important to protect against atrial fibrillation, according to study author Jong-II Choi, a professor in the department of internal medicine at the Korea University College of Medicine in Seoul.

The individuals whose data was collected completed a survey about alcohol intake during a health checkup in 2009. At the time, none of the individuals had A-fib. These participants were then tracked until 2017.

The study revealed that weekly alcohol intake was a significant risk factor for new cases of A-fib, but there was no direct correlation between binge drinking on an infrequent basis.

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