According to studies being presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 71st Annual Scientific Session, drinking coffee, particularly two to three cups a day, is not only associated with a lower risk of heart disease and arrhythmias but also with living longer.
The researchers that these analyses are the largest to look at coffee’s potential role in cardiovascular health and death provide reassurance that coffee is not tied to new or worsening of heart disease, but in fact, may be protective.
Petter M Kistler, MD, professor, and head of arrhythmia research at the Alfred Hospital and Baker Heart Institute in Melbourne, Australia said in an interview:
“Because coffee can quicken heart rate, some people worry that drinking it could trigger or worsen certain heart issues. This is where general medical advice to stop drinking coffee may come from. But our data suggest that daily coffee intake shouldn’t be discouraged, but rather included as a part of a healthy diet for people with and without heart disease.” “We found coffee drinking had either a neutral effect — meaning that it did no harm — or was associated with benefits to heart health.”
The team behind the research used information from the UK BioBank, which is a large-scale database with health information from over half a million people who were followed for at least 10 years. They evaluated different levels of coffee consumption, ranging from up to a cup to more than 6 cups per day.
The first study included a total of 382,535 individuals without known heart disease to see whether coffee drinking played a role in the development of heart disease or stroke during 10 years of follow-up. Overall, they found that drinking 2-3 cups per day was associated with the greatest benefit, with a 10-15% decreased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
The second study included 34,279 participants who had some form of cardiovascular disease at the start of the study.
The researchers found that having 2 or 3 cups per day was associated with lower odds of dying compared with having no coffee, while also finding that consuming any amount of coffee was not associated with an increased risk of developing cardiac arrhythmias.
Around 24k people were included that had arrhythmias at the beginning of the study and drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of death in them too.
In another study, researchers evaluated the use of ground coffee against instant coffee, and caffeinated or decaf.
They found the same benefit as the previous studies with both ground and instant coffee. But they did not find those benefits of drinking decaf coffee.
Conclusions (Let’s Enjoy Coffee)
Usually, coffee has been discouraged in people with cardiovascular disease because it can increase the heart rate. Still, the studies suggest that it can even have benefits to cardiovascular health while also decreasing the risk of death.
According to the studies that will be presented in the American College of Cardiology’s 71st Annual Scientific Session, drinking coffee shouldn’t be discouraged in patients with cardiovascular disease and coffee drinkers should continue enjoying coffee.
American College of Cardiology. “Good news for coffee lovers: Daily coffee may benefit the heart: Drinking two to three cups a day was associated with greatest heart benefits.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2022.
Photo by Jessica Lewis Creative: https://www.pexels.com/photo/coffee-beans-and-white-mug-606545/