Drinking four pints of beer in one night is enough to destabilise the heart's natural rhythm and increase the risk of heart failure and stroke, a new study suggests.

Researchers at Oktoberfest in Munich found that drinkers' chances of cardiac arrhythmia, which opens the door to a host of more serious conditions, doubled after the intake.

Scientists monitored 3028 drinkers at the beer festival and found evidence of "holiday heart syndrome", whereby people without any history of problems developed irregular heartbeats.

The researchers from The University Hospital Munich found that nearly one in three attendees was suffering from cardiac arrhythmia.

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Professor Moritz Sinner said: "We found very strong and robust associations with disturbances in the naturally occurring variation in heart rate."