30 March 2009

Researcher found that coffee might help heart, especially for women. Long-term, regular coffee consumption does not increase the risk of death and probably has several beneficial effects on health. But, people with any disease or condition should ask their doctor about their risk, because caffeine still has an acute effect on short-term increase of blood pressure.

There are relationships between coffee drinking and the risks of dying from heart disease, cancer, or any cause in almost 42,000 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and more than 84,000 women who had participated in the Nurses' Health Study. At the study start, all participants were free of heart disease and cancer.

The participants completed questionnaires every two to four years, including information about their coffee drinking, other dietary habits, smoking and health conditions. The research team looked at the frequency of death from any cause, death due to heart disease, and death due to cancer among people with different coffee-drinking habits, comparing them to those who didn't drink the brew. They also controlled for other risk factors, including diet, smoking and body size.

The researchers found that women who drank two or three cups of caffeinated coffee daily had a 25 % lower risk of death from heart disease during the follow-up than non-drinkers. Women also had an 18 % lower death risk from a cause other than cancer or heart disease compared with non-coffee drinkers. While for men, drinking two to three cups of caffeinated coffee daily has no effect either an increased or a decreased risk of death during the follow up.

The lower death rate was mainly due to a lower risk for heart disease deaths, the researchers found, while no link was discovered for coffee drinking and cancer deaths. The relationship did not seem to be directly related to caffeine, according to the researchers, since those who drank decaf also had a lower death rate than those who didn't drink either kind of coffee.

More recently, research has found coffee drinking linked with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers, and preventing the development of cardiovascular disease. It because people may have under- or over-reported their coffee consumption, for instance.

I would tell them to weigh the subjective risk of their coffee consumption. For instance, if they love coffee, but it makes them jittery, and they can't sleep, they need to adjust it. Look at your symptoms, if decaf is no problem, I wouldn't put a limit on that.

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