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Milwaukee called 'drunkest city' - so beware Holiday Heart Syndrome

Heavy alcohol drinking and feasting on salty foods are the main cause of Holiday Heart Syndrome's heart flutters and faintness.
Heavy alcohol drinking and feasting on salty foods are the main cause of Holiday Heart Syndrome's heart flutters and faintness.
Marya (emdot)/Flickr.com

In a recent listing by The Daily Beast of the top 40 "drunkest cities" in the United States, Milwaukee won the dubious honor of first place:

The average drinks per Milwaukean per month is 12.76, 7.1 percent of the city's population are heavy drinkers and 21.8 percent are binge drinkers, The Daily Beast reported.

Therefore, a common malady doctors call Holiday Heart Syndrome may strike more Milwaukeans because it is caused by extra-heavy alcohol consumption while gorging on sodium-rich foods -- in other words, by partying and feasting.

Thanksgiving feasts are often loaded with hidden salt, the Associated Press reported citing information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Dietetic Association.

In truth, these are behaviors more people everywhere do more often between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

Atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, or heart flutters, often accompanied by dizziness, weakness or faintness in people without a history of heart disease are the main symptoms, and the distress usually passes harmlessly, though serious complications can result if the arrhythmias interrupt the heart's normal rhythm long enough for blood to pool and clot, ABC News reported.

Smoking and obesity increase the risk, and people should seek medical attention if Holiday Heart Syndrome hits -- immediately if chest pain, pressure or any heart attack symptoms arise, according to Boston.com.

Though the exact causes of the syndrome, also known as alcoholic cardiomyopathy, are not known, the main preventive measures are all too obvious: drinking less alcohol and cutting back on sodium-rich foods.

Milwaukee's heavy alcohol drinkers, like revelers everywhere, live with greater risk of developing this heart trouble whenever they combine binging with salty feasts or treats

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