In a new study from the University of Colorado, researchers found drinking one or more cups of caffeinated coffee may reduce heart failure risk.
Coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke are among the top causes of death from heart disease in the U.S.
While smoking, age and high blood pressure are among the most well-known heart disease risk factors, there are unidentified risk factors for heart disease.
In the study, the team used machine learning to examine data from the original cohort of the Framingham Heart Study and referenced it against data from both the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study and the Cardiovascular Health Study to help confirm their findings.
Each study included at least 10 years of follow-up, and, collectively, the studies provided information on more than 21,000 U.S. adult participants.
The team found people who reported drinking one or more cups of caffeinated coffee had an associated decreased long-term heart failure risk.
In the Framingham Heart and the Cardiovascular Health studies, the risk of heart failure over the course of decades decreased by 5-to-12% per cup per day of coffee, compared with no coffee consumption.
In the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, the risk of heart failure did not change between 0 to 1 cup per day of coffee; however, it was about 30% lower in people who drank at least 2 cups a day.
Drinking decaffeinated coffee appeared to have an opposite effect on heart failure risk — strongly increasing the risk of heart failure in the Framingham Heart Study.
In the Cardiovascular Health Study however; there was no increase or decrease in risk of heart failure associated with drinking decaffeinated coffee.
When the researchers examined this further, they found caffeine consumption from any source appeared to be linked to decreased heart failure risk, and caffeine was at least part of the reason for the apparent benefit from drinking more coffee.
The team says 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.
According to the federal dietary guidelines, three to five 8-ounce cups of coffee per day can be part of a healthy diet, but that only refers to plain black coffee.
The American Heart Association warns that popular coffee-based drinks such as lattes and macchiatos are often high in calories, added sugar and fat.
In addition, despite its benefits, research has shown that caffeine also can be dangerous if consumed in excess.
If you care about heart health, please read studies about this health problem in middle-age may predict heart failure later in life and findings of this number, not BMI, linked to heart disease in people with diabetes.
For more information about heart disease, please see recent studies about commonly used antibiotics may harm your heart health and results showing that taking these two drugs may protect you from heart attack and stroke.
The study is published in Circulation: Heart Failure. One author of the study is David P. Kao, M.D.
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