The American Heart Association has published new research that gives coffee drinkers a good reason to continue to enjoy the popular drink. According to the study, which was recently published in Circulation: Heart Failure, drinking at least one cup of caffeinated coffee a day may result in a lower risk of suffering from heart failure.
The new research is an analysis of three existing studies: the Framington Heart and Cardiovascular Studies, as well as the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. The AHA researchers analyzed participants’ reports on coffee consumption and how it was associated with long-term risk of heart failure.
Overall, the three studies revealed that drinking at least one cup of coffee a day was linked to a long-term decrease in the risk of heart failure. Looking at the individual studies, the Cardiovascular Health and Framingham Heart studies revealed that, compared to not drinking coffee, those who drink the beverage had a 5 to 12 percent reduction in the risk of long-term heart failure per cup of coffee.
The Atherosclerosis Risk study, however, found that just one cup of coffee a day was not linked to a change in the risk of heart failure. However, drinking at least two cups of coffee a day has been associated with a reduction of about 30%.
It is important to note that these findings are based on consumption of caffeinated coffee – and, surprisingly, it appears that drinking decaffeinated can have the opposite effect. The new study reports that while the cardiovascular health study did not find an increase or decrease in the risk of heart failure among those who consumed decaffeinated coffee, the Framingham Heart study found a “significant” increase in the risk of heart failure.
Ultimately, it appears that caffeine may play a beneficial role with regard to the risk of heart failure, with the researchers noting that caffeine from any source – such as tea – has also been linked to a drop in risk. The researchers note that, at this point, there is not enough “clear evidence” to suggest that someone should increase their coffee consumption to reduce their risk of heart disease.