Toasting to the holiday season? Be aware of the 'holiday heart'

December 19, 2018 - 3:00 am

KYW’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — There is no doubt that as we approach Christmas and New Year's, there are increased opportunities for celebration. 

There is also an increase in alcohol use by many people. From a health standpoint, the most crucial warning is to make certain that you are not drinking and driving if you're going to be imbibing.  

But there is another health concern and a problem for many people, especially if they drink to excess: the holiday heart.

The holiday heart is best explained by the fact that drinking large amounts has been associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation. This irregular heartbeat can put stress on the heart and also increase the risk of throwing clots in the body. 

We see it every year and it is something that you must consider if you are going to drink to excess.