Heart Beat: December 2012
The winter holidays are often synonymous with celebrations that involve sodium-rich foods and alcohol. But those celebratory ingredients can contribute to heart risks and a condition known as holiday heart syndrome. Unlike alcoholic cardiomyopathy, which is damage to the heart caused by heavy alcohol consumption over a period of years, holiday heart syndrome is usually a temporary condition resulting from too much alcohol at one time. Its characterized by an irregular heartbeat, which can also feel like a racing heart. A recent study in the journal CMAJ actually found a link between moderate-to-high alcohol use and an elevated atrial fibrillation risk.