Did you know that drinking multiple cups of coffee a day could increase the risk of heart attack in people with hypertension? Drinking large amounts of coffee has been linked to many health benefits, ranging from improved cognitive function to a lower risk of certain diseases.
But according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, it could also have this unexpected downside. This finding adds yet another layer to our understanding of how caffeine consumption affects our overall health and requires further exploration.
Previous research has suggested that consuming one cup of coffee per day may help heart attack survivors by lowering their risk of death after a heart attack. It also found that coffee may help to prevent strokes in healthy people and may help to reduce the risk of developing chronic illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes and cancer. Coffee may also have the ability to help control appetite and may help to lower the risk of depression or boost alertness. However, this new study shows how coffee can also be harmful as it may raise blood pressure and lead to heart palpitations, sleep problems, anxiety, and increased blood pressure.
For the study, more than 6,570 men and 12,000 women aged 40 to 79 were selected from the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study for Evaluation of Cancer Risk, a large, prospective study established between 1988 and 1990 of adults living in 45 Japanese communities. All participants were required to provide health data through health examinations and questionnaires that were aimed at assessing diet, lifestyle, and medical history.
During the 19-year follow-up period, 842 cardiovascular-related deaths were documented. Consuming two or more cups of coffee per day was associated with twice the risk of cardiovascular disease death in people whose blood pressure was 160/100mm Hg or higher compared to people who did not drink coffee. Drinking one cup of coffee per day was not associated with any cardiovascular risk across blood pressure categories. Researchers also noted that green tea consumption was not linked to cardiovascular disease mortality risk across blood pressure categories.
“These findings may support the assertion that people with severe high blood pressure should avoid drinking excessive coffee,” said senior author Hiroyasu Iso, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. “Because people with severe hypertension are more susceptible to the effects of caffeine, caffeine’s harmful effects may outweigh its protective effects and may increase the risk of death.”
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