“Holiday heart syndrome often develops in those who chronically abuse alcohol, but it can also occur after a single use of a large dose of alcohol. In some cases, even moderate alcohol intake acts as a trigger,” he explained. Boytsov.
Cardiologists have long known that the festive heart syndrome most often manifests itself on Mondays or after holidays, and this, of course, is associated with the tradition of abundant parties and libations. That’s why the long New Year’s weekend is a busy time for cardiologists.
“Arrhythmias sometimes occur almost immediately after drinking alcohol, sometimes 12 to 36 hours after a feast. More than 90 percent of atrial fibrillation episodes associated with holiday heart syndrome stop spontaneously, but within 12 months, the probability of recurrence is 20-30 percent. ,” – said the academician.
Why does holiday heart syndrome occur?
Experts mention several reasons: this is the toxic effect of alcohol and its metabolites, dehydration – dehydration of the body (also due to alcohol intake). Also, aggravating factors are an increase in the consumption of salty foods (lots of salty and fatty snacks) during such a party, as well as caffeine (many drink strong tea or coffee to sober up and cheer up), reduced sleep and activity physical.
“In patients with cardiovascular disease, drinking a large dose of alcohol (more than 5 standard drinks at a time) is associated with 18 new cases of atrial fibrillation per 1,000 patient years. Risk factors for the development of holiday heart syndrome are: high blood pressure, obesity, obstructive heart syndrome, sleep apnea,” Boytsov said.
What symptoms should be taken into account?
The main clinical manifestation of the holiday heart syndrome is palpitations. Shortness of breath, weakness, angina pectoris may also occur. In severe cases, a life-threatening arrhythmia develops, heart failure debuts or progresses, and community-acquired pneumonia may join. “The higher the concentration of ethanol in the blood, the higher the chance of developing heart conduction disorders, the higher the risk of sudden cardiac arrest,” Boytsov warned.
In the treatment and prevention of heart syndrome on vacation, the main thing is the refusal to drink alcohol, emphasizes the academician. If the patient follows this recommendation and leads a healthy lifestyle, the holiday heart syndrome is reversible, otherwise alcoholic cardiomyopathy, a dangerous disease that affects the heart muscle, may develop, the cardiologist concluded.