The term “holiday heart syndrome” was first coined in 1978 to describe the effect of alcohol on people who experienced atrial fibrillation, a serious heartbeat irregularity that can lead to stroke. But now researchers are finding the connection is even stronger than they thought.
In a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, researchers asked 223 patients with documented cardiac arrhythmia, “Does alcohol trigger your heart palpitations?”
The researchers found that people with atrial fibrillation had almost a four and a half times greater chance of having an episode if they were drinking alcohol. It isn’t known why drinking alcohol triggers this type of heartbeat irregularity, or why some people are more susceptible to it.
This study does show, however, that even though some people may be able to have alcohol without adverse effects, that isn’t true for those who experience atrial fibrillation.
If you know that drinking gives you an irregular heartbeat, you should just avoid it.