Deaths no higher in coffee lovers with heart disease

(Reuters) — Women with heart disease who down a few cups of coffee each day tend to live as long as those who avoid the beverage, a large study finds.

The results, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, add to a mixed bag of research on whether caffeinated coffee is a hazard for people at high risk of heart problems.

In theory, coffee could be problematic because it has caffeine and other compounds that can raise blood pressure or have other negative effects on the cardiovascular system.

But some studies have found that coffee drinkers have no increased risk of a second heart attack or premature death. A few others have even hinted at protective effects from coffee.

In the new study, which followed nearly 12,000 U.S. nurses with a history of heart disease or stroke, those who regularly drank caffeinated coffee were no more likely to die than non-coffee-drinkers during the study period – which for some was more than 20 years.

Researchers found no link between a woman’s coffee intake and her risk of death from heart attack, stroke or any other cause. And that was true even of women who downed four or more cups per day.

“Our results suggest that coffee drinking is OK for patients with cardiovascular disease, but it would be desirable to replicate our results in other populations,” lead researcher Dr. Esther Lopez-Garcia, of Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain, told Reuters Health in an email.


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