We coffee lovers have an additional reason to cheer as three more recent studies have found that drinking two to three cups of coffee a day is associated with a host of heart-healthy benefits. These studies, which were presented at last year’s American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session & Expo, suggest that coffee consumption may lower the risk of heart disease, dangerous heart rhythms, and perhaps most exciting…this is yet another series of studies which demonstrate that drinking coffee can lead to a longer lifespan!
And since it's American Heart Month, we thought it'd be a great time to highlight the topic of coffee and heart health. Without further ado, let's review the findings presented at ACC.22 and look at a few more reasons why coffee can be a very healthy part of your daily routine.
The three studies used data from the UK BioBank, a large-scale database with health information from over half a million people who were followed for at least 10 years. The data was analyzed to see the relationship between varying levels of coffee consumption and arrhythmias, cardiovascular disease, heart failure, stroke, and heart-related deaths.
The first study, which looked at data from 382,535 individuals without known cardiovascular disease, found that having two to three cups of coffee a day was associated with a 10%-15% lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, heart failure, arrhythmias, or all-cause mortality.
The risk of stroke or cardiovascular-related death was found to be lowest among people who drank one cup of coffee a day. In the second study, which included 34,279 individuals with some form of cardiovascular disease at baseline, coffee intake at two to three cups a day was associated with lower odds of dying compared to not drinking coffee. Additionally, any amount of coffee was not associated with a higher risk of arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation (AFib) or atrial flutter. In fact, among the 24,111 individuals included in the analysis who had an arrhythmia at baseline, drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of death and people with AFib who drank one cup of coffee a day were nearly 20% less likely to die than non-coffee drinkers.
“Clinicians generally have some apprehension about people with known cardiovascular disease or arrhythmias continuing to drink coffee, so they often err on the side of caution and advise them to stop drinking it altogether due to fears that it may trigger dangerous heart rhythms,” Kistler said. “But our study shows that regular coffee intake is safe and could be part of a healthy diet for people with heart disease.”
-Peter M. Kistler, MD
The third study found that two to three cups of coffee per day, regardless of whether it was instant or ground, caffeinated or decaf, was associated with the lowest risk of arrhythmias, heart blockages, stroke, and heart failure. The study also found that decaf coffee had a positive effect on reducing cardiovascular disease (with the exception of heart failure).
The findings suggested that caffeinated coffee is preferable and that there are no cardiovascular benefits to choosing decaf over caffeinated coffees.
The researchers did note that there were some limitations to these studies, as they were unable to control for dietary factors that may play a role in cardiovascular disease, nor were they able to adjust for any creamers, milk, or sugar consumed.
In conclusion, these studies suggest that drinking two to three cups of coffee a day can have a beneficial impact on heart health.
Isn't it nice to think that your daily cup of joe could be doing more for you and your heart than just giving you a boost of energy?
However, it's always important to consider individual factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and existing health conditions, as well as the possible negative effects of excessive caffeine intake. If you are trying to limit or avoid caffeine due to health reasons, decaf coffee has most of the same heart-healthy benefits of regular coffee without caffeine. Choose a clean decaf, though, particularly Swiss Water® Decaf, which has a natural way of removing caffeine from the coffee.
As we recognize American Heart Month, take a moment to appreciate your coffee and all the potential benefits it can be providing to your heart. Raise your cup, breathe in the rich aroma, take a sip of deliciousness, and give a cheer to good heart health this February and beyond!