Good news for coffee drinkers: regular coffee consumption may be beneficial to the heart
According to studies presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 71st Annual Scientific Session, drinking coffee—especially two to three cups per day—is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and hazardous cardiac rhythms, as well as living longer.
Both those with and without cardiovascular disease followed these trends. The studies, which are the largest to look into coffee’s possible role in heart disease and death, provide confidence that coffee isn’t linked to new or worsening heart disease and may even be heart-protective, according to the researchers.
“Because coffee can increase heart rate, some people are concerned that it will cause or exacerbate certain heart problems. This is where you might get basic medical advice to stop drinking coffee.
However, our findings suggest that daily coffee consumption for people with and without heart disease should not be discouraged, but rather included as part of a healthy diet, “Professor and head of arrhythmia research at the Alfred Hospital and Baker Heart Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and the study’s senior author, Peter M. Kistler, MD, said. “We found that drinking coffee had either no effect at all, or it was linked to better heart health.”
Kistler and his team used the UK BioBank, a large-scale prospective database with health information from over half a million people who were followed for at least 10 years.
Researchers looked at the relationship between different levels of coffee consumption, ranging from one cup to more than six cups per day, and heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); cardiovascular disease, such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, and stroke; and total and heart-related deaths in people with and without cardiovascular disease.
Patients were divided into five groups based on how much coffee they drank on a daily basis: 0.5 cup/day, Questionnaires completed at the time of registration were used to determine coffee consumption. Exercise, alcohol, smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure could all affect heart health and longevity. After taking these things into account, they found no effect or big changes in cardiovascular risk.
In the first study, researchers looked at data from 382,535 people who didn’t have a history of heart disease to see if coffee consumption influenced the development of heart disease or stroke during a 10-year period.
The average age of the participants was 57, and half of them were female. In general, drinking two to three cups of coffee per day was associated with the highest benefit, resulting in a 10% to 15% lower risk of coronary heart disease, heart failure, a cardiac rhythm disorder, or death from any cause.
People who drank one cup of coffee per day had the lowest risk of stroke or heart-related death. The researchers said coffee consumption was found to have a U-shaped link with new cardiac rhythm abnormalities.
People who drank two to three cups of coffee per day saw the greatest advantage, while those who drank more or fewer saw less benefit.
A total of 34,279 people took part in the second trial, all of whom had some type of cardiovascular illness at the start. Coffee consumption of two to three cups per day was linked to a decreased risk of death when compared to no coffee consumption at all.
Importantly, no amount of coffee was linked to an increased risk of heart rhythm disorders like atrial fibrillation (AFib) or atrial flutter, which Kistler said is frequently what clinicians worry about.
Drinking coffee was linked to a decreased risk of death among the 24,111 people in the study who had an arrhythmia at the start. People with AFib who drank one cup of coffee a day, for example, were approximately 20% less likely to die than those who did not.
“Clinicians are often concerned about people who have known cardiovascular disease or arrhythmias continuing to drink coffee, so they often err on the side of caution and encourage them to quit drinking it entirely,” Kistler said. However, our research demonstrates that regular coffee consumption is safe and could be part of a heart-healthy diet.
Kistler told people not to drink more coffee if it makes them feel anxious or uneasy. People should drink two to three cups of coffee a day.
“Coffee may cut mortality and have these beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease through a variety of pathways,” he said. Coffee aficionados with heart problems should rest assured that they can continue to enjoy their favorite beverage.
Coffee is the most popular cognitive enhancer—it wakes you up, sharpens your mind, and is an essential part of many people’s daily routines. “
So, how may coffee beans help your heart? Although most people associate coffee with caffeine, coffee beans contain over 100 physiologically active chemicals.
Compounds that can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, speed up the metabolism, limit fat absorption in the gut, and block receptors linked to irregular heartbeats are some of the ones that Kistler says can help.
In a third trial, researchers investigated whether the association between coffee and cardiovascular disease differed depending on whether the coffee was instant or ground, caffeinated or decaf.
They discovered that two to three cups of coffee per day, whether ground or instant, were associated with the lowest risk of arrhythmias, blockages in the heart’s arteries, stroke, or heart failure. All varieties of coffee were shown to have lower death rates.
With the exception of heart failure, decaf coffee had no beneficial effects on arrhythmia incidence but did reduce cardiovascular illness.According to the data, caffeinated coffee is preferable across the board, and choosing decaf over caffeinated coffee has no cardiovascular benefits.
These studies have a number of significant flaws. Researchers were unable to account for any creamers, milk, or sugar taken, as well as dietary components that may play a role in cardiovascular disease.
Because the study’s participants were mostly white, more research is needed to see if the findings apply to other groups. Finally, coffee consumption was based on self-report via a questionnaire administered at the start of the trial.
This should be taken into account when interpreting the study’s findings, while Kistler points out that research shows that people’s eating habits don’t alter much as they become older or over time. According to Kistler, the findings should be confirmed in randomized studies.
It will be shown on April 3. The title of the study is “The Effects of Habitual Coffee Consumption on Incidence of Cardiovascular Disease, Arrhythmia, and Mortality: Results from the UK BioBank.”
On Saturday, April 2, a virtual presentation of the second linked study, “Regular Coffee Intake is Associated with Improved Mortality in Prevalent Cardiovascular Disease,” will be given.
The third study in the series, “Is it better to drink ground, instant, or decaffeinated coffee? Different Coffee Subtypes’ Effects on Arrhythmia, Cardiovascular Disease, and Mortality “The performance will take place on Sunday, April 3rd.