PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Alcohol can make the heart beat irregularly.

A study of 35,000 women age 40 and older found that those drinking two alcoholic beverages a day or more had a higher rate of atrial fibrillation than those drinking no alcohol. The women were followed for an average of 12 years.

This research comes from Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It’s one of the major studies on alcohol and the heart.

If you have concerns, talk with your family physician or cardiologist for more information. But obviously, if you’re drinking that much alcohol, you need to also look into the issue of just how much alcohol you should drink, what’s safe, and what constitutes a problem.

But if you were thinking that alcohol increased the risk of irregular heartbeats, you are right.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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