Good news is reconfirmed for coffee lovers, be it ground (pass), instant or decaffeinated, for those who can’t resist caffeine. The delicious beverage, particularly when consumed two to three cups daily, is associated with a significant reduction in cardiovascular events and mortality.
Also, ground and instant coffee, but not decaf, are associated with a reduction in arrhythmias.
This is the result of a long-term analysis by the UK Biobank, a large UK biological research bank that investigates how genetic predisposition and the environment contribute to disease.
A dozen researchers were involved in this work, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology last December 27.
In this large prospective cohort study, the association between habitual coffee consumption, and more specifically, the impact of each subtype, including decaf, was investigated. The main findings are:
- Ground, instant, and decaffeinated coffee are associated with equivalent reductions in the incidence of cardiovascular events and cardiovascular mortality from all causes.
- Two to three cups of coffee of all subtypes is associated with the greatest reduction in the risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and all-cause mortality.
- Ground and instant coffee, but not decaf, are associated with reduced arrhythmias.
- There is a ‘U’ relationship between the consumption of caffeinated coffee and the incidence of any arrhythmia. The greatest reduction was seen with 4-5 cups a day. It means that the greatest benefit is among those who remain in that average, and not in the extremes.
Coffee is present in most societies, with caffeine as the most consumed psychostimulant in the world, according to the magazine Cardiovascular Medicine Trends of 2019. Since public attention to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases has increased, there is also more interest in changes in lifestyle, and coffee enters this discussion.
In the history of health, most health professionals have recommended that patients with cardiovascular disease avoid coffee. This has been called into question by recent studies, which not only claim that it is harmless, but that it is beneficial, when moderate.
What is moderate? Between 3 and 4 cups a day, according to the guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology of 2021. The UK Biobank researchers explain that a lot of emphasis is placed on caffeine, when coffee is made up of more than 100 biological agents. So this time they wanted to make a comparison between the impact of traditional and decaffeinated coffee.
Coffee consumption and arrhythmias
In the final study, they were 449,563 participants who had an average age of 58 years, with 55.3% women. The mean follow-up of these people was 12.5 years. Of these, 100,510 people did not drink coffee, and constituted the control group.
After adjusting for age, alcohol, tea, or tobacco use, obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obstructive sleep apnea the lowest risk of arrhythmias was among those who consumed 2 to 3 cups a day. For atrial flutter, the significant risk reduction was among those who consumed 1 to 5 cups a day, with the greatest reduction at 4 to 5 cups.
Coffee consumption and cardiovascular accidents
More than 43,000 participants received a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease during follow-up and 34,677 were diagnosed with coronary heart disease. Another 6,767 had a stroke.
Drinking 4 to 5 cups of coffee a day resulted in a significant decrease in the risk of cardiovascular events, compared to those who did not drink coffee. Something similar happened with the reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease, with the lowest risk in those who drank 2 to 3 cups a day.
And coffee consumption at all levels meant a reduced risk of heart failure and stroke. Here again, the recommendation would be 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day.
Coffee consumption and all causes of cardiovascular disease mortality
Of the nearly 450,000 people participating, 27,809 died during follow-up, and 4,402 of those deaths were from cardiovascular causes. The reduction in all-cause mortality was associated with coffee consumption of up to 5 cups a day, with the greatest effect, again, from drinking 2 to 3 cups. For those concerned about the belief that coffee is associated with sudden cardiac death, the study found no link. (YO)