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UVA Doctor Warns Of Impacts Binge Drinking Can Have On Heart Health

Dr. Pamela Mason, Cardiac Electric Physiologist
Dr. Pamela Mason, Cardiac Electric Physiologist and Director of the Electric Physiology Laboratory at the University of Virginia, with a patient. (Photo: University Of Virginia)

A University of Virginia cardiac physiologist warns that binge drinking during holidays can cause even young people with healthy hearts to lapse into dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities.  Charles Fishburne reports.


Charles Fishburne:  Holiday Heart Syndrome can be the result of stress, dehydration and binge drinking.

Dr. Pamela Mason:  Because people do tend to imbibe more around the holidays particularly around New Years.

Fishburne: Dr.Pamela Mason, University of Virginia says it can cause symptoms like:

Dr. Mason:  Palpitations, dizziness, light-headedness, chest tightness or even shortness of breath.

Fishburne:  She says it can be dangerous even among perfectly healthy people.

Dr. Mason:  Any patient who is having these symptoms should seek care in the emergency department.

Fishburne:  Best way to avoid it?

Dr. Mason:  Simply to keep the alcohol consumption to a more modest level.

Charles Fishburne, VPM News.