Holiday heart syndrome

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Holiday heart syndrome

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. Some abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) associated with Holiday heart syndrome after binge drinking can lead to sudden death, which may explain some of the sudden death cases commonly reported in alcoholics. Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia in holiday heart syndrome. Symptoms usually resolve themselves within 24 hours.

Holiday heart can also cause abnormal burning sensation whilst urinating and/or the feeling of passing blood similar to a kidney stone. This generally subsides in days or weeks.[citation needed]


  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".

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