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Caffeine link to reduced heart failure risk

Wednesday February 10th 2021

Researchers have reported evidence of an association between caffeine drinking and heart health.

Many cardiovascular disease risk factors are well known, so Dr David Kao at the University of Colorado, USA, and colleagues searched for as-yet unidentified risk factors.

They looked at dietary information gathered in three large sling-term studies, using new machine learning techniques to identify potential risk factors.

From this, they identified several dietary and behavioural risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These included a link between higher caffeinated coffee consumption and lower risk of heart failure.

In all three studies, participants who drank one or more cups of coffee per day had a decreased long-term heart failure risk.

In Circulation: Heart Failure yesterday (9 February), they write: "Higher coffee intake was found to be associated with reduced risk of heart failure in all three studies."

Dr Kao says: "While smoking, age and high blood pressure are among the most well-known heart disease risk factors, unidentified risk factors for heart disease remain."

He added: "The association between caffeine and heart failure risk reduction was surprising. Coffee and caffeine are often considered by the general population to be 'bad' for the heart because people associate them with palpitations, high blood pressure, etc. The consistent relationship between increasing caffeine consumption and decreasing heart failure risk turns that assumption on its head."

The researchers call for further studies to clarify the role, possible causality, and potential mechanism of this link.

Stevens, L. M. et al. Association Between Coffee Intake and Incident Heart Failure Risk. Circulation: Heart Failure 9 February 2021; doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.119.006799

[abstract]

Tags: Diet & Food | Heart Health | North America

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