Heart Health

Will drinking alcohol or caffeinated drinks trigger my atrial fibrillation?

Ask the doctor

By , Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter

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Q. I've had three past attacks of a heart rhythm problem, atrial fibrillation. I'm okay now. The doctor says drinking alcohol or drinks with caffeine can make it start again. Is that true?

A. I'm afraid it's at least half true. A group of experts from the American Heart Association and other prestigious organizations reviewed the evidence about your question in the medical journal Circulation, published Jan. 2, 2024.

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About the Author

photo of Anthony L. Komaroff, MD

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter

Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff is the Steven P. Simcox/Patrick A. Clifford/James H. Higby Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, senior physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and editor in chief of the Harvard … See Full Bio
View all posts by Anthony L. Komaroff, MD

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