Alcohol Can Cause Immediate Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

A single glass of wine can quickly and significantly raise the drinker's risk for atrial fibrillation, according to new research . The study provides the first evidence that alcohol consumption substantially increases the chance of the heart rhythm condition occurring within a few hours. The findings might run counter to a prevailing perception that alcohol can be "cardioprotective," say the authors, suggesting that reducing or avoiding alcohol might help mitigate harmful effects.

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Cravings Stronger for Those Who Smoke and Drink

People who drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes may have stronger cravings and greater drug-seeking responses, which could explain why those who use multiple substances find it more difficult to quit. Researchers at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York have explored the motivational impact of cigarette and alcohol "cues", with important implications for understanding and treating addiction and relapse. Over time, individuals who drink heavily and smoke cigarettes frequently begin to associate simple stimuli in their environment – such as the sight or smell of a lit cigarette or their favorite drink – with the rewarding effects of the substance.

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