Recommendations regarding dietary intake and caffeine and alcohol consumption in patients with cardiac arrhythmias: What do you tell your patients to do or not to do?

Kathryn A. Glatter, Richard Myers, Nipavan Chiamvimonvat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

The etiology of arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation is multifactorial. Most arrhythmias are associated with comorbid illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, thyroid disease, or advanced age. Although it is tempting to blame a stimulant like caffeine as a trigger for arrhythmias, the literature does not support this idea. There is no real benefit to having patients with arrhythmias limit their caffeine intake. Caffeine is a vasoactive substance that also may promote the release of norepinephrine and epinephrine. However, acute ingestion of caffeine (as coffee or tea) does not cause atrial fibrillation. Even patients suffering a myocardial infarction do not have an increased incidence of ventricular or other arrhythmias after ingesting several cups of coffee. Large epidemiologic studies have also failed to find a connection between the amount of coffee/caffeine used and the development of arrhythmias. As such, it does not make sense to suggest that patients with palpitations, paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, or supraventricular tachycardia, abstain from caffeine use. Energy drinks are a new phenom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-535
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Arrhythmias
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Caffeine
  • Energy drink
  • Sudden death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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