Study Finds Even Excessive Consumption of Coffee Does Not Increase the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease

According to a new study published in the latest issue of Circulation, Journal of the American Heart Association, even massive amounts of coffee consumed on a daily basis over many years does not increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

The study even found that people who drank six or more cups of coffee on a daily basis for up to two decades had a slightly lower risk of developing coronary artery disease than those who drank a cup or less each day.

The researchers, headed by Dr. Esther Lopez-Garcia of the School of Medicine at Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain, examined the records of some 44,005 men and 84,488 women enrolled in other studies. For all levels of coffee consumption reported, the results of the team’s analysis, after adjusting for age, smoking, and other coronary heart disease risk factors, showed no significant difference in the relative risks of developing coronary heart disease.

Collateral habits associated with people who are heavy coffee drinkers include smoking, alcohol consumption, and the use of aspirin. The smoking connection was found to be a strong one and may explain why another study found a link between coffee drinking and the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

People who consumed large amounts of coffee were found to drink less tea, were less likely to use multivitamins or vitamin E, and shunned exercise.

The researchers pointed out that individual “genotypes” might not follow the general pattern suggested by the study and could actually exhibit an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease. Further study is needed on that issue, however.

The findings were limited to standard percolator or drip coffee and not to unfiltered methods of brewing that produce much stronger coffee. That type of “French press” coffee has been consistently linked to an increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol.

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