Java Friendly For The Heart

Coffee may offer heart failure protection

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Your daily cup of java may do more than kick-start your morning. New research suggests moderate coffee consumption may also offer slightly increased protection from heart failure.

Drinking about four cups of coffee a day may lower the risk of developing heart failure as compared to skipping coffee drinking.

The study, which still requires confirmation with additional research, also found that drinking more than four cups of coffee a day may result in a slightly higher risk of developing heart failure.

"Discuss coffee drinking with your cardiologist."

Elizabeth Mostofsky, MPH, ScD, a post-doctoral fellow in the cardiovascular epidemiological unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in  Massachusetts, initiated the study after previous experimental research suggested that caffeine appears associated with acute increased blood pressure, which could increase the stiffness of arteries and offer other temporary benefits.

During the review study researchers examined five long-term prospective studies of coffee consumption and heart failure risk. The studies included 140,220 participants from studies between 1966 and 2011, and 6,522 heart failure events.

Many of the participants were from Nordic countries where it is common to regularly consume large amounts of coffee. On average, coffee in countries such as Finland is about twice as strong as the coffee brewed in the United States.

Investigators found that moderate coffee drinkers may be about 11 percent less likely to develop heart failure, while heavy coffee drinkers could have a small increased risk of developing heart failure.

The association between coffee and heart failure was not found to vary by gender, or history of diabetes or heart disease.

Current guidelines suggest coffee could increase the risk of heart failure, but researchers suggested the findings demonstrate that the guidelines may need an update to reflect a small potential benefit.

The study. funded through a grant from the National Institute of Health, was recently published in journal Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association publication.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
September 24, 2012
Last Updated:
September 29, 2012