It is a challenge for physicians to identify patients at risk for holiday heart syndrome, and forewarn them.
Arrhythmia in the holiday heart syndrome has been associated with having six or more drinks, but fewer drinks could also be the culprit.
There are similar reports of the arrhythmia seen in the holiday heart syndrome with recreational use of marijuana.
If you imbibe a little too much this holiday season, you may find yourself experiencing holiday heart syndrome, a temporary condition in which a racing heart follows the consumption of an excessive quantity of alcohol.
And in many cases, other factors, such as a lack of sleep, too much caffeine, over-the-counter decongestants, and overeating can combine with alcohol to produce holiday heart syndrome, according to Leslie Cho, MD, co-section head of Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation at Cleveland Clinic, and editor-in-chief of Heart Advisor.
The association between excess alcohol consumption during the holidays and increased risk for heart attack and stroke is so often observed that it has been called the holiday heart syndrome
," says Maurizio Fava, Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at MGH.
Two cardiologists have reminded merrymakers to eat and drink in moderation to avoid the so-called holiday heart syndrome.
Lopez said the holiday heart syndrome can be life-threatening to revelers who have an underlying heart condition but do not eat right or do not exercise self-control.
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.
Atrial fibrillation (afib) is the rhythm most commonly seen in holiday heart syndrome
, but atrial flutter and other supraventricular tachycardias (SAT's) can also be observed.