Healthy Living NT

Coffee and Your Heart

12/06/2015 Martin Reilly, Cardiac Educator, Alice Springs
Caffeine is found in many foods and beverages, including coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate. Over the years there have been hundreds of studies conducted to evaluate the effects of caffeine on the body. One area of focus for researchers has been caffeine’s effect on cardiovascular health, with emphasis on coronary artery disease (CAD) and high blood pressure.

Coffee and your heartResearch has found that moderate amounts of caffeine (about three cups of coffee per day) does not negatively impact on heart health nor cause heart-related conditions - although those with a history of heart disease or high blood pressure may be more sensitive to caffeine and should consult with a health professional regarding their caffeine intake.

No correlation has been found between caffeine consumption and cardiac arrhythmias in the scientific literature. A seven-year Danish study found no association between caffeine consumption and the development of atrial fibrillation.

A 2010 study led by Dr Arthur Klatsky studied over 130,000 participants and the researchers found that coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of hospitalisations for arrhythmias and that the protective effect appeared to be additive. Individuals who drank more than four cups of coffee per day had an 18% lower risk of being hospitalised for any arrhythmia, and this reduction in risk was consistent among men and women, different ethnic groups, and smokers and non-smokers.

In late 2013 a new study from Japan suggested that the caffeine in a cup of coffee might help your small blood vessels work better, which could ease strain on the heart. A cup of caffeinated coffee caused a 30 percent increase in blood flow through the small vessels of people's fingertips, compared with a cup of decaf, according to lead researcher and cardiologist Dr Tsutsui.

At this stage, the weight of evidence shows that a moderate amount of caffeinated coffee does not cause high blood pressure and multiple studies confirm that there is no link between moderate coffee consumption and hypertension, hyperlipidemia, coronary artery disease and arrhythmias.

References on request

This article was published on the Territory Way magazine edition 116 June 2014. For more interesting article please click here

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