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Drinking 1 or more cups of caffeinated coffee could reduce heart failure risk

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 17, 2021

Results from three studies showed that drinking caffeinated coffee reduced risk of heart failure, but the amount of reduction varied.  (Unsplash)
Results from three studies showed that drinking caffeinated coffee reduced risk of heart failure, but the amount of reduction varied. (Unsplash)
By Linda Searing Special to the Washington Post Special to the Washington Post

Drinking one or more cups of caffeinated coffee daily may lower your risk for heart failure. About 6.2 million adults in the U.S. have heart failure, a condition in which the heart is too stiff or weak to pump as much blood as the body needs to function efficiently.

The finding that links heart failure and coffee consumption stems from the analysis of three major studies on heart disease that, together, followed 21,361 U.S. adults for at least 10 years.

In all three studies, the odds of developing heart failure declined for participants who drank at least one cup of caffeinated coffee a day, but how much the risk fell varied. For instance, two of the studies found a decrease in risk of 5% to 12% per cup consumed daily compared with no coffee consumption. The other study found no drop in risk for one cup a day but a 30% reduction in risk for two or more cups a day.

In the report, published in an American Heart Association journal called Circulation: Heart Failure, the researchers described caffeine as “an important contributor” to the heart failure risk reduction linked to coffee. They found that drinking decaffeinated coffee did not have the same effect.

Overall, increased caffeine consumption “irrespective of source” was linked to a drop in heart failure risk in all three studies. But the researchers and other experts stop short of recommending that people increase their caffeinated coffee consumption. Caffeine, which is a stimulant, can make you feel more alert and less tired, but, especially in large doses, it also can boost blood pressure and heart rate, make you jittery and contribute to insomnia.

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