Coffee reduces stroke & heart attack risk

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Coffee lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases

The effects of coffee consumption on the cardiovascular system have been the subject of much controversy for years. Researchers in the Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School (both in Boston, USA), the National University of Singapore and the National University Health System (both in Singapore) have published a meta-study in the journal "Circulation", which states that As a result, coffee consumption for quantities below nine cups per day does not have a disadvantage, but even has a protective effect on the cardiovascular system.

With the meta-analysis, the researchers led by Frank B. Hu from Harvard Medical School wanted to “assess the dose-response relationship between long-term coffee consumption and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.” They used 36 existing studies with almost 1.3 million participants to check the connection between coffee consumption and various cardiovascular diseases (e.g. coronary heart disease, stroke, heart attack). A total of 36,352 study participants suffered from diseases of the cardiovascular system. However, according to the researchers, an increase in the risk due to coffee consumption could only be detected with more than nine cups of coffee per day. Otherwise, coffee even contributed to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Coffee reduces the risk of stroke by up to 20 percent. As part of the data evaluation, the researchers said they "found a non-linear relationship between coffee consumption and the risk of cardiovascular diseases." It was found that with a coffee consumption of five cups per day the likelihood of a disease of the cardiovascular system was five percent less than with complete abstinence from coffee. A moderate coffee consumption of one and a half cups a day was accompanied by an average reduction in the risk of disease by around eleven percent, and the maximum protective effect was apparently achieved with 3.5 cups of coffee a day, the scientists report. Here, the risk in individual studies has dropped by up to 20 percent. On average, consuming 3.5 cups of coffee a day reduced the likelihood of stroke, coronary heart disease, and other diseases of the cardiovascular system by 15 percent.

Coffee only with extreme amounts with an unfavorable effect According to the calculations of the researchers, clearly negative effects can only be expected if you consume nine or more cups of coffee a day. The previously often assumed, generally unfavorable effect of coffee on the cardiovascular system does not exist. "The fear that enjoying coffee could increase the risk of a stroke seems to be unfounded," reports the German Society for Neurology (DGN), citing the latest study results. "After decades of discussion and uncertainty, this is definitely good news for our patients," emphasized Professor Hans-Christoph Diener, director of the Clinic for Neurology at Essen University Hospital and press spokesman for the German Society for Neurology. Even people who "drank up to seven cups of coffee a day suffered fewer strokes, heart attacks and other heart ailments on average than those who drank no coffee at all," the DGN said. Professor Diener added that "most people do not need to worry" and "should only be reserved during pregnancy and when high blood pressure is difficult to adjust".

Making coffee healthier today? In view of the surprisingly clear study results, the experts of the German Society for Neurology come to the conclusion that the changed methods of coffee preparation may also have played a role here over the decades. Because earlier the powder was mostly boiled, whereby the coffee has been shown to increase blood lipid cholesterol. Today, however, filter coffee is preferred, so the coffee is simply “healthier”, reports the DGN. This “would then also mean that the study results cannot be transferred to French or Turkish coffee,” the experts at DGN point out. (fp)

Image: Simone Hainz /

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