Coffee consumption and cardiovascular health

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This is the first of five blog posts on the topic of coffee consumption and cardiovascular health, concentrating on the impact of coffee consumption and cardiovascular health. Coffee and Health also houses current scientific information on a wide range of other coffee-related topics.

Overview

A wide variety of studies, both large and small, have been carried out on both healthy participants and patients who already suffer from cardiovascular disease or one of its risk factors.  Overall they have found that there is no evidence to suggest a negative effect of moderate coffee consumption on cardiovascular health.

Coffee consumption and coronary heart disease risk

A large meta-analysis of 21 published studies on coffee consumption and coronary heart disease risk found a large variation between the individual results of the studies reviewed.  Overall, it did not find a significant association between coffee drinking and long-term risk of coronary heart disease.  However, regular moderate coffee consumption was shown to be associated with a lower risk of heart disease in women.

Furthermore, three recent studies also saw no association between coffee consumption and risk of coronary heart disease.  In fact, a Dutch studyfound the lowest risk was in groups who regularly consume 2-3 cups of coffee per day.

In conclusion, the large majority of individual studies find no association between coffee consumption and coronary heart disease. However, there is considerable variation between the studies.

Coffee consumption does not increase risk of stroke

The largest study to look at coffee consumption and stroke was conducted by the US Nurses Health Study. It found a significant inverse association between consumption of coffee and stroke incidence.  This association was the strongest in the subgroup of former and non-smokers.

In an interview, available to view here, Dr Esther Lopez-Garcia from the Universidad Autonoma in Madrid in Spain explains her recent study of over 150,000 men and women from the US:

“We conducted a study with over 150,000 men and women from the US, and what we found is that, after 24 years of follow up, those who drank coffee did not have a higher number of cardiovascular events in comparison to those who didn’t drink coffee. What we found was that among them, consumption of two or more cups of coffee per day was associated with a 20% lower risk of having a stroke. So this may suggest that habitual coffee consumption may have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health.”

For more information on coffee and cardiovascular health click here, and to view reference material, click here.

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