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Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter - Alcohol consumption Factor
The alcohol factor for atrial fibrillation requires consumption of at least 250 kilograms of alcohol within any 10 year period, within the 15 years immediately before the clinical onset of atrial fibrillation. This factor applies only in operational service cases.
As part of the investigation of this factor you will be asked to consider whether VEA service made a material contribution to the specified amounts for the relevant period. In considering this question you should have regard to:
- Guideline for claims assessors on smoking and alcohol related conditions and military service and also
- AN02/2000, an Advisory Note concerning Alcohol Habituation.
A material contribution by service can be made in a number of ways:
- an amount was consumed during service, as a causal result of service;
- an amount was consumed because of another medical condition, either during service or after service, or both. For example: as part of alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse; or as part of another psychiatric condition; or as "self medication" for a medical condition.
The Repatriation Commission also agreed that arguments put to delegates that are outside the Guideline must still be considered for substance and medical and scientific support. However the Commission did not agree that the temporal connection of service life with alcohol consumption is enough to establish ‘habit’ as the cause of alcohol use.
“Habituation” is often an argument advanced to connect service conditions with post service alcohol consumption.
A search by the RMA for sound medical scientific evidence bearing on "habituation" revealed only one epidemiological study (as at April 2000) that bears on the ‘habituation’ issue, that is, whether a “habit” of alcohol drinking continues from the service environment into the community after discharge from service. In fact that paper suggested that not only was there no association with military service there is some evidence that military service produces the opposite effect.
Last reviewed for CCPS 16 July 2003.
|Type||Title||PDF Format||Word Format|
|Claimant Report||Alcohol Consumption||CRD904.pdf||CRD904.docx|
|Claimant Report||Alcohol Consumption||CRV904.pdf||CRV904.docx|
|Medical Report||Alcohol Consumption||MR9244.pdf||MR9244.docx|
Preliminary questions 
25686 the veteran has consumed alcohol at some time.
10946 the veteran has established the causal connection between the alcohol consumption and operational service for the clinical onset of atrial fibrillation.
Clinical onset and operational service 
10947 the veteran consumed at least 250 kg of alcohol within a 10 year period within the 15 years immediately before the clinical onset of the condition under consideration.
10949 operational service made a material contribution to the veteran's consumption of at least 250 kg of alcohol within a 10 year period within the 15 years immediately before the clinical onset of the condition under consideration.
10950 the veteran's consumption of at least 250 kg of alcohol within a 10 year period within the 15 years immediately before the clinical onset of the condition under consideration, which was materially contributed by operational service, was due to the veteran's serious default, wilful act or serious breach of discipline.