Coffee & Health
Cardiovascular health

3-5 cups of coffee per day may help protect against cardiovascular disease

September 29, 2016

Updated report and review of the latest science looks at coffee consumption and heart disease In support of World Heart Day, the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) today publishes updated scientific evidence surrounding coffee consumption and its potential to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In Europe, cardiovascular disease – CVD – is the main cause of death, accounting for 45% of all deaths1,2. Each year, over 4 million Europeans die from CVD – one death every 7 seconds3.

Overall, the scientific evidence suggests that there is no association between coffee drinking and an increased risk of CVD. Many scientific studies have suggested that coffee consumption may help protect against heart disease, with the greatest protection seen at a moderate intake of coffee (3-5 cups per day). The lowest CVD mortality risk is seen at an intake of approximately 3 cups of coffee per day, reducing risk by up to 21%4,5.

The latest facts and scientific research on coffee and cardiovascular disease can be found in the newly-updated “Cardiovascular health” topic section of ISIC’s website. ISIC has also published today the second edition of its report The good things in life: can coffee protect against the risk of CVD mortality?, which provides a comprehensive overview of the latest research into coffee, caffeine and cardiovascular disease.

The latest conclusions on coffee and cardiovascular disease suggest the following:

  • A review on coffee consumption and mortality, totalling 1,054,571 participants, suggested a significant inverse, i.e. favourable association between coffee consumption and CVD mortality risk, especially in women. Intakes of coffee at 3-5 cups per day showed the most significant protective effect, whilst quantities over 5 cups per day were associated with a smaller reduction in total mortality6.
  • A large American cohort study of over 2,500 CVD deaths suggested a positive association between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality in men, and also in men and women below 55 years of age. The authors advised that younger people should avoid heavy coffee consumption, cautioning that the finding should be assessed in other populations7.
  • A meta-analysis of well-controlled prospective studies suggested that coffee consumption was not associated with risk of coronary heart disease, weakly associated with a lower risk of stroke and heart failure, and not associated with a higher risk of fatal cardiovascular events. Overall, the authors concluded that for most healthy people, moderate coffee consumption is unlikely to adversely affect cardiovascular health8.
  • Two meta-analyses suggest an association between coffee consumption and CVD risk, proposing a ‘U-shaped’ pattern whereby optimal protective effects were achieved with 3-5 cups of coffee per day. The greatest risk reduction may be seen at 3 cups of coffee per day, with a reduced CVD mortality risk at 21%4,5.

To read ISIC’s report, please click here.


More information on coffee consumption and cardiovascular diseases, including coronary heart disease and stroke, is available via the Coffee & Health website here.


  1. Townsend N. et al. (2016) Cardiovascular disease in Europe: epidemiological update 2016. Eur Heart J, published online ahead of print.
  2. European Heart Network, ‘European Cardiovascular Disease Statistics 2012’. Available at:
  3. Petersen S. (2005) European cardiovascular disease statistics. BHF: London.
  4. Ding M. et al (2014) Long-term coffee consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Circ, 129(6):643-59.
  5. Crippa A. et al. (2014) Coffee consumption and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: a dose-response meta-analysis. Am J Epidemiol, 180(8):763-75.
  6. Malerba S. et al. (2013) A meta-analysis of prospective studies of coffee consumption and mortality for all causes, cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Eur J Epidemiol, 28(7):527-39.
  7. Liu J. et al. (2013) Association of Coffee Consumption with All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality. Mayo Clinic Proc, 88:10.
  8. Rebello S.A. and van Dam R.M. (2013) Coffee Consumption and Cardiovascular Health: Getting to the Heart of the Matter. Curr Cardiol Reps, 15:403.

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