Drinking more than ten alcoholic drinks a week or four cups of strong coffee each day can increase the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat, new research suggests.
Two studies presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Barcelona found that alcohol and caffeine intake can affect the chances of developing an abnormal heart rhythm, known as atrial fibrillation. About 46,000 people in Britain are diagnosed with atrial fibrillation every year. The condition greatly increases the risk of having a stroke, heart attack or other cardiac problems.
The study into alcohol, carried out on 8,830 men and women in Britain, Scandinavia and the United States, found that those who drank the equivalent of ten standard drinks — about 15 units a week — had an 80 per cent increased risk of being diagnosed with the condition within five years.