Drinking coffee to prevent heart disease, stroke

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A recent study from Semmelweis University found that up to three cups of coffee per day is linked to a lower risk of stroke and fatal heart disease.

They found that regular coffee consumption is safe, as even high daily intake was not linked to adverse heart outcomes and death after a follow-up of 10 to 15 years.

Moreover, 0.5 to 3 cups of coffee per day was strongly linked to lower risks of stroke, death from heart disease, and death from any cause.

Even though coffee is among the most consumed beverages in the world, little is known about the long-term impact of regular consumption on cardiovascular health.

In the study, researchers examined the association between usual coffee intake and incident heart attack, stroke, and death.

They included 468,629 participants of the UK Biobank with no signs of heart disease at the time of recruitment. The average age was 56.2 years and 55.8% were women.

Participants were divided into three groups according to their usual coffee intake: none (did not consume coffee on a regular basis, 22.1%), light-to-moderate (0.5 to 3 cups/day, 58.4%), and high (more than 3 cups/day, 19.5%).

The researchers found that compared to non-coffee drinkers, light-to-moderate consumption was linked to a 12% lower risk of all-cause death, a 17% lower risk of death from heart disease, and a 21% lower risk of stroke.

They also used data from 30,650 participants who underwent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is considered the gold standard for the assessment of cardiac structure and function.

They found that compared with participants who did not drink coffee regularly, daily consumers had healthier-sized and better-functioning hearts. This was consistent with reversing the detrimental effects of aging on the heart.

These findings suggest that coffee consumption of up to 3 cups per day is linked to favorable cardiovascular outcomes.

While further studies are needed to explain the underlying mechanisms, the observed benefits might be partly explained by positive alterations in heart structure and function.

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The study was conducted by Dr. Judit Simon et al.

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