R De Giuseppe et al, 2019. Caffeine and Blood Pressure: A Critical Review Perspective, Nutrition Research Reviews, published online.

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ABSTRACT

The WHO reported that high blood pressure (BP) is one of the primary causes of death worldwide. Hypertension (HPT) is a major risk factor for CVD and related diseases as well as for diseases, leading to a considerable increase in cardiovascular risk. Since BP response could also be influenced by caffeine, which is widely consumed with coffee and other items, it is important to define the possible effects associated with caffeine intake. The most recent findings aimed at clarifying the role of caffeine consumption on BP and HPT risk/incidence are conflicting and difficult to interpret. Therefore, in the present narrative review, we aimed to examine various methodological inaccuracies/aspects and factors that make studies difficult to be compared, in order to obtain a single consensus on the effects of caffeine intake on the risk of BP and HPT. We observed that this heterogeneity in results could be due to the presence of: (i) several variables affecting BP (such as age, sex, genetic and lifestyle aspects); (ii) different caffeine content of food and beverages; and (iii) caffeine metabolism. Moreover, different methodological aspects in the evaluation of daily dietary caffeine intake and in the BP measurement could add some other bias in the interpretation of results. Therefore, it is mandatory to consider all methodological aspects and confounding factors to generate a standardised methodology in order to increase cross-study consistency and minimise confounding effects of different variables on the relationship between BP response and HPT risk/incidence after caffeine intake.

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