Caffeine has been considered a trigger for atrial fibrillation (AF). We conducted a meta-analysis including a dose-response analysis to assess the relationship between caffeine consumed and incidence of AF.
Data from selected studies represented 176,675 subjects (AF in 9,987 [5.7%]). Caffeine content varied widely, ranging from 40 to 180 mg per cup of coffee. For purposes of the calculations in this study, we assumed 140 mg of caffeine in a standard 12-oz cup of coffee.
No significant difference was found in AF incidence when the subjects consuming less than 2 cups of coffee per day were compared to subjects with higher consumption, 1.068 (0.937-1.216). The risk of AF was higher among subjects consuming less than 2 cups of coffee daily when compared to higher daily consumption subjects. A lower incidence of AF was found among people consuming more than 436 mg daily.
The incidence of AF is not increased by coffee consumption. In fact, we found a lower incidence of AF when caffeine consumption exceeded 436 mg/day. Therefore, based on available evidence there is no association between caffeine intake and AF risk.