Daily Java May Cut Heart Failure Risk

Regular coffee drinking may lower heart failure risk

(RxWiki News) In another round of good news for those of us who can't get going without a couple of morning cups of 'Joe'. Researchers say daily coffee consumption might lower your risk of heart failure.

The key to receiving the benefit is drinking it in moderation -- about two "American coffee shop" size cups a day, or about 16 ounces daily.

Overdoing it won't result in an added benefit and could even be unsafe, researchers found.

"Enjoy coffee to reduce heart failure risks."

Murray Mittleman, MD, DrP.H, senior study author and director of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, noted that a common misconception is that drinking coffee on a regular basis could be dangerous to heart health.

But in fact the opposite is true.

During the review study investigators examined five published prospective studies related to coffee consumption and heart failure risk. The studies included 6,522 heart failure events among more than 140,000 men and women between 2001 and 2011.

After evaluating the studies, investigators determined that drinking two daily cups of coffee could reduce heart failure risk by as much as 11 percent.

However, researchers emphasized moderation, noting that overindulging won't result in a benefit and could be dangerous.

Researchers didn't account for brew strength, though it is typically stronger in Europe. The studies reviewed were conducted in Sweden and Finland. They also didn't separately look at whether the coffee was caffeinated, though most consumed in northern Europe has caffeine.

“This is good news for coffee drinkers, of course, but it also may warrant changes to the current heart failure prevention guidelines, which suggest that coffee drinking may be risky for heart patients," said Elizabeth Mostofsky, ScD, lead study author and research fellow at Beth Israel. It now appears that a couple of cups of coffee per day may actually help protect against heart failure.”

Researchers didn't determine why coffee offers the heart benefit, though evidence has suggested regular coffee drinkers may build a tolerance to caffeine, lowering their risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes.

Both are risk factors for heart failure so lowering the risk of both could be the reason heart failure risk is reduced.

The study, partly supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, was published today in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation Heart Failure.

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Review Date: 
June 24, 2012