Holiday heart syndrome

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Holiday heart syndrome
Classification and external resources
eMedicine article/155050

Holiday heart syndrome is an irregular heartbeat pattern presented in individuals who are otherwise healthy. Coined in 1978[1] the term is defined as "abnormal heart rhythms sometimes following excessive alcohol consumption; usually temporary".[2]

Holiday heart syndrome can be the result of stress, dehydration, and drinking alcohol. It is sometimes associated with binge drinking common during the holiday season. The condition can also occur when individuals consume only moderate amounts of alcohol.

Irregular heartbeats can be serious. If palpitations continue for longer than a few hours patients should seek medical attention. Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia in holiday heart syndrome. Symptoms usually resolve themselves within 24 hours.


  1. ^ Ettinger PO, Wu CF, De La Cruz C, Weisse AB, Ahmed SS, Regan TJ (May 1978). "Arrhythmias and the "Holiday Heart": alcohol-associated cardiac rhythm disorders". Am. Heart J. 95 (5): 555–62. doi:10.1016/0002-8703(78)90296-X. PMID 636996. 
  2. ^ "Holiday heart syndrome — definition from". 

External links[edit]

  • Holiday Heart Syndrome at eMedicine
  • Menz V, Grimm W, Hoffmann J, Maisch B (August 1996). "Alcohol and rhythm disturbance: the holiday heart syndrome". Herz 21 (4): 227–31. PMID 8805002. 
  • Alboni P, Gianfranchi L, Pacchioni F, Pedaci M (March 2005). "Antiarrhythmic drugs in patients with recurrent atrial fibrillation: where are we?". Ital Heart J 6 (3): 169–74. PMID 15875505.