Coffee and The Heart: The Impact May Be Different Than We Think

23 Mar 2023 • According to a new study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, atrial fibrillation isn’t caused or worsened by caffeine, despite the widespread belief among many physicians and patients that coffee should be avoided in these conditions.

A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in 2022 found that drinking two or more cups of coffee a day was associated with twice the risk of heart death in people with severe hypertension compared with non-coffee drinkers. But other research has shown an association between moderate coffee intake and a reduced risk of mortality in the population overall.

In this study, researchers monitored the hearts, activity and sleep of 100 people without underlying heart conditions over two weeks. The consumption of caffeinated coffee was associated with 58 daily premature atrial contractions as compared with 53 daily events on days when caffeine was avoided .The study results suggest that consumption of caffeinated coffee did not result in significantly more daily premature atrial contractions than the avoidance of caffeine.

What else did they find?

  • Coffee drinkers also recorded 35 fewer minutes of sleep per night
  • People who were assigned to drink coffee recorded 10% more steps—10,646 steps versus 9,665 for non-coffee drinkers—with steps increasing the more coffee they drank.
  • The study also found coffee drinkers had a higher number of premature ventricular heartbeats (154 versus 102 a day for no-caffeine days)

Source: NEJM | Read full story

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