Question: How does alcohol abuse affect atrial fibrillation? Fatima (Alicante).
Answer: Alcohol is associated with the development of ventricular dysfunction (dilated cardiomyopathy, with a decrease in the contractile power of the heart) and the genesis of arrhythmias of all kinds. In relation to atrial fibrillation, alcohol is a tremendously flattering substance. Thus, we see patients who present what they usually call "weekend heart", which consists of feeling palpitations or the heart as "runaway", after ingesting large doses of ethanol. This very annoying clinic is due to the fall, generally transitory, in atrial fibrillation.