German scientists studied healthy festival goers and discovered that moderate social drinking may result in irregular heart rhythms ( arrhythmias). Researchers found that the more alcohol consumed, the higher was the likelihood of developing abnormal heart rhythms which is called cardiac arrhythmias. This study was the first prospective study to explore the association between alcohol consumption and cardiac arrhythmias.
The researchers tested 3,028 men and women who had been drinking but were not legally impaired, using a hand-held breathalyzer. EKGs was carried out on them to assess their cardiac functions. More than one fourth of them were found to have a condition known as sinus tachycardia, marked by a resting heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute. Generally, about 1 to 2 percent of general population have repeated episodes of tachycardia, which in some cases can have risks.
Furthermore, researchers also found slightly increased, however not statistically remarkable, levels of other kinds of irregular heartbeats which includes heart palpitations, a potentially life threatening condition. The arrhythmias increased with increased breath alcohol levels. The study included only healthy participants.
“In majority of people, elevated heart beats would be expected to subside as alcohol concentration in the body went down” said the lead author, Dr. Moritz F. Sinner, an assistant professor of cardiology at University Hospital Munich. He also suspects that people susceptible to develop arrhythmias due to some other undiagnosed condition may develop an arrhythmia under influence of alcohol where some might require treatment.