Lots of alcohol in a short space of time won’t just get you drunk but may too upset your heart rhythm, but researchers say.
Stewards increase beer glasses at Oktoberfest in Munich a year ago (file). Photo: AFP
The team from the University Hospital of Munich failed a field experiment together with 3000 adults in Munich’s famed annual Oktoberfest in Germany.
They found the odds of heart arrhythmia raised as beer consumption went up.
The majority of the cases of abnormal heart rhythm were “apparently harmless” sinus tachycardia, where the center just beats faster than normal, however, some weren’t.
Around 5 percent were possibly more worrying, also comprised one kind called.
These chances are very low, which meant there was no substantial connection between alcohol and dangerous heart arrhythmias in the study.
However there was a connection between alcohol intake and more benign arrhythmias.
After a few beers
The volunteers, who were deemed sober enough to take part had center traces shot while they partied with a cell phone program.
Sinus tachycardia was far more prevalent among the drinkers who had downed some steins of beer in the Oktoberfest than in the 400 or so abstainers though it isn’t surprising that heartbeat could increase in a party atmosphere.
As the number of grams of alcohol per kilogram of blood went up, the chance of a cardiac arrhythmia increased.
Even though the “energetic air in the beer tent” wasn’t the perfect setting for performing the center traces, the researchers could receive reliable recordings for almost every one of the volunteers, ” the European Heart Journal reports.
They found arrhythmias in 30 percent of those records – more than would be expected in a typical population.
The researchers think it’s possible even though they didn’t try it out that arrhythmias could lead to more critical ones, like atrial fibrillation, within days of drinking lots of alcohol.
They now plan more research to assess if that “Holiday Heart Syndrome” – arrhythmia actuated with an a sudden alcohol cessation – is present and, if it can, if it cures itself.
Chemical Moritz Sinner said “that which we have found is that smoking doesn’t interfere with heart rhythm, and that has not been demonstrated like this before.
“What we still do not understand is what happens after people stop drinking or continue to drink. What happens the following day or the day following?”