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Drinking alcohol increases your heart rate, study finds

According to new research, drinking alcohol makes your heart race and could cause arrhythmias in people with heart conditions.

The new study was conducted by researchers from the LMU University Hospital Munich Department of Cardiology in order to assess the acute effects of alcohol on heart health.

The results were presented at the European Heart Rhythm Association 2018 Congress1, which is organized by the European Society of Cardiology.

During the 2015 Munich Oktoberfest, researchers recorded the heart rate activity of over 3,000 participants using electrocardiograms (ECG) and measured breath alcohol concentrations.

The researchers also compiled data on the participants’ age and sex, if there was a history of heart disease, and if they smoked.

The average breath alcohol concentration was .85 g/kg and higher concentrations correlated with a faster heartbeat.

“The more alcohol you drink, the higher your heart rate gets,” said Stefan Brunner, a cardiologist at the University Hospital Munich and one of the lead authors of the study.

After the study was conducted, researchers went to back to examine the ECG data in more detail.  The researchers investigated the impact alcohol concentration had on different electrocardiogram parameters besides heart rate.

The results of the second analysis also showed that heart rate sped up with increased alcohol consumption but did not affect any of the other ECG parameters.

All in the all, the study reveals that alcohol directly impacts heart rate and increased alcohol consumption causes your heart to race.

“We cannot yet conclude that a higher heart rate induced by alcohol is harmful,” said Moritz Sinner, a fellow lead author. “But people with heart conditions already have a higher heart rate, which in many cases triggers arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation. So it is plausible that the higher heart rate following alcohol consumption could lead to arrhythmias.”

By Kay Vandette, Staff Writer

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