Latest study shows moderate, regular coffee drinking may reduce risk of heart failure
According to a meta-analysis of five studies1, published in Circulation: Heart Failure, coffee consumption of four to five cups per day was associated with a decreased risk of heart failure compared with no coffee consumption.
Dr. Murray Mittleman and his team, from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in the US, analysed five prospective studies, which involved 6,522 heart failure events and included more than 140,000 men and women that related to self-reported data on coffee consumption and heart risk. Four of the studies were based in Sweden, and one was conducted in Finland. They found that those who drank a moderate amount of coffee daily, defined as 4-5 cups per day, may experience protective benefits against heart failure by as much as 11 percent. Low levels of coffee consumption were not associated with a positive or negative effect on heart failure risk.
It is unclear why moderate coffee consumption provides protection from heart failure, but the authors say part of the answer may lie in the relationship between regular coffee drinking and the two strongest risk factors for heart failure namely, diabetes and elevated blood pressure. There is a good deal of research showing that coffee may lower the risk for type 2 diabetes and possibly be protective against elevated blood pressure.
The authors conclude that “the results of this meta-analysis indicate that there is a J-shaped relationship between coffee consumption and heart failure incidence with the largest inverse association observed for consumption of 4 cups per day.”
1. E Mostofsky et al, 2012, Habitual coffee consumption and risk of heart failure: a dose-response meta-analysis, Circulation Heart Failure, published online ahead of print.
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