Coffee may prevent heart disease

New research suggests that heavy coffee drinkers are less likely to die of heart disease, such as heart attacks, strokes, and arrhythmia. Edidemiologists from the Autonomous University of Madrid analyzed data from more than 120,000 men and women. According to their study, women who drank four or five cups of brew a day were 34 percent less likely to die form heart disease. Men who drank more than five cups a day were 44 percent less likely to succumb to heart disease. Still, there are too many variables and unknowns in the research for anyone to sensibly boost their coffee intake as a prophylactic. From New Scientist:
(Researcher Esther Lopez-Garcia) speculates that anti-inflammatory compounds found in coffee may be responsible for its apparent health benefits.

This is in spite of high levels of caffeine, which might increase the chances of suffering a heart attack by raising blood pressure. "Our hypothesis is that caffeine has a short term effect, but in the longer term, [other aspects of coffee are] more important," she says.

Other studies have, however, shown just the opposite. In 2007, (University of Florence epidemiologist Francesco) Sofi analysed more than 20 studies of health and coffee drinking and found little consensus.

One explanation for these conflicting results could be genetic. In 2006, a team of Canadian researchers discovered that people with a mutation in a gene involved in metabolising caffeine had higher rates of heart attack than people without the mutation.
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  1. This just in: All things in moderation are good for you, or at least won’t kill you any quicker than average.

  2. Obvious (as my colleague just pointed out) – caffeine speeds up your heart rate, and gives that muscle a workout…

    The things you have to explain to scientists… Sheesh!

  3. What else do heavy coffee drinkers have in common that might be a reason for not getting heart disease? Lower weight, if coffee and appetite suppressant. Wealthier, if it’s five cups of Starbucks a day. I’m sure there are other major factors at play here too. No doubt the researchers were careful to point out that correlation doesn’t always equal causation, but it’s a big sample as surveys go so there might be something in it.

    Probably better to test rats n’monkeys and use the data from that than from a human population sample I think though. But what do I know.

  4. If I discovered evidence of heart problems, the first lifestyle change I’d make would be knocking off coffee. Possibly there’s a little self selection in the population of this study.

  5. This study was most likely done on black coffee with no cream and sugar. I’ll wager most folks add both to their cup of java. So before I run out to Starbucks thinking its the new broccoli, I’ll have to keep in mind the lack of this studies attention to detail. But once you go black…

  6. Slurp! I’m glad I stopped by my local coffee shop tonight. Now if only someone could tell me that cream and sugar in great quantities was good for me.

  7. DO not act on this article as if it is medisal advice.

    If you dig deep enough you acan find scientific evidence that wjhales are fish or that cigarettes are full of vitamin C

  8. Coffee, beer and cigarettes: Is there no end to the healthful qualities that abound therein?

  9. Many of the write-ups of the study, including this one, only focus on the reduction in heart disease. Actually, the study found that coffee drinkers had lower mortality rates across the board:

    For both groups, coffee seemed to give a health boost. After accounting for other factors such as smoking and obesity, the researchers found that women who drank four to five cups of coffee per day were 26% less likely to die from any cause. Men who put down more than five cups of coffee per day were 35% less likely to die.

    @ #3: “What else do heavy coffee drinkers have in common that might be a reason for not getting heart disease? Lower weight, if coffee and appetite suppressant.

    I would agree that there may be contributing factors, but it looks like they tried to account for them. As it mentions in the quote above, they already eliminated obesity as a cause of the effect.

    @ #4: “Hydrochloric acid drinkers are also less likely to develop heart disease.

    This is the typical assumption that scientists are dumb and don’t think their studies through. The study found coffee drinkers had lower mortality rates and were less likely to die from all causes, not just heard disease. Not that the coffee drinker died of something else before they got heart disease.

    @ #6: “This study was most likely done on black coffee with no cream and sugar. I’ll wager most folks add both to their cup of java.

    The study wasn’t giving people coffee, it was analyzing the health of real coffee drinkers. The proportion of “cream-and-sugar” drinkers in the study sample would be the same as the proportion of them in the real world.

  10. So let me get this straight, masturbation can help prevent prostate cancer, and excessive coffee drinking can help prevent heart disease.

    Wow, man’s two main causes of death treated by two of man’s biggest vices.

    These “studies” are kinda meaningless, though. They wheel them out and make some big deal about them, when they could’ve just summed everything up by saying: “Many of the things you do or do not do on a daily basis may or may not prevent you from getting a disease which you might not have gotten in the first place.”

  11. Many of the things you do or do not do on a daily basis may or may not prevent you from getting a disease which you might not have gotten in the first place.

    …meaningless, but factual!

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