Coffee drinkers may be less likely to be hospitalized for heart rhythm disturbances, according to a report presented at the American Heart Association's 50th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.
Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Oakland, Calif., found that men and women who reported drinking four or more cups of coffee each day had an 18 percent lower risk of hospitalization for heart rhythm disturbances. Those who reported drinking one to three cups each day had a 7 percent reduction in risk.
The large, long-term observational study involved 130,054 men and women, 18 to 90 years old, with the majority less than 50 years old. About 2 percent (3,317) were hospitalized for rhythm disturbances; 50 percent of those were for atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm problem.
The 18 percent reduction in risk was consistent among men and women, different ethnic groups, smokers and nonsmokers.
In the study, 14 percent reported drinking less than one cup of coffee a day; 42 percent reported drinking one to three cups; and 17 percent reported drinking four cups or more each day. Only 27 percent were not coffee drinkers.
"Coffee drinking is related to lower risk of hospitalization for rhythm problems, but this association does not prove cause and effect," said Arthur Klatsky, M.D., study lead investigator and senior consultant in cardiology at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program. "These data should be reassuring to people who drink moderate amounts of coffee that their habit is not likely to cause a rhythm disturbance."
The researchers examined hospitalization data by elapsed time after the initial examination. For hospitalization within 10 years, the reduction in hospitalizations for people who consumed four cups of coffee or more each day reached 28 percent.
In another subgroup analysis, the researchers studied persons with and without symptoms or history of heart and respiratory disease. For both groups, four cups of coffee daily appeared to be associated with fewer hospitalizations for rhythm disturbances.
"This study does not mean that people should drink coffee to prevent rhythm problems," Klatsky said. "It supports the idea that people who are at risk for rhythm problems or who have rhythm problems do not need to abstain from coffee."
Because patients frequently report palpitations after drinking coffee, the public may be surprised at the study findings, Klatsky said.
This study was supported by a grant from the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Co-authors are: Amatul Hasan, M.D..; Cynthia Morton, M.D.; Mary Anne Armstrong, M.A., biostatistician; and Natalia Udaltsova, Ph.D., programmer. Author disclosures are on the abstract.
Contact information: Dr. Klatsky can be reached at (510) 752-6538 and email@example.com. (Please do not publish contact information.)
(Note: Actual presentation time is 5:15 p.m., PT/8:15 p.m. ET, Friday, March 5, 2010.)
Click here to download audio clips offering perspective on this research from American Heart Association spokesperson, Kenneth Ellenbogen, M.D., Director, Electrophysiology and Pacing Lab; Kontos Professor of Cardiology; Vice-Chairman, Division of Cardiology - Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems.
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Abstract P33 - Coffee consumption in young adults not linked to atherosclerosis later in life
Young adults who drink coffee each day don't increase or decrease their risk of developing atherosclerosis later in life, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's 2010 Conference on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which an artery wall thickens as the result of a build-up of fatty materials such as cholesterol. The fatty material may block normal blood flow.
Researchers analyzed the association between coffee drinking and atherosclerosis in more than 3,000 men and women who were 18 to 30 years old during a baseline clinical examination in l985 and then followed them for the occurrence of atherosclerosis 20 years later.
Participants were members of the CARDIA (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) study, a long-term, multi-center, longitudinal cohort study. The researchers found no association between coffee drinking and the development of atherosclerosis among men or women, blacks or whites, or smokers or nonsmokers.
"Based on these data, there does not appear to be any substantial association between coffee drinking and increased or decreased odds of developing atherosclerosis or its progression over time," said Jared Reis, Ph.D., study lead investigator and epidemiologist with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Md.
Researchers analyzed key measures of sub-clinical coronary and carotid artery atherosclerosis after 15 and 20 years of follow-up. The study included those who did not drink coffee; those who drank one to two cups of coffee; three to four cups of coffee; and more than four cups of coffee. Coffee consumption did not increase or decrease the odds of developing coronary artery calcified plaque or an increased carotid artery wall thickness, researchers said.
These findings suggest coffee consumption in young adulthood may not influence subclinical atherosclerosis in later life, Reis said.
Contact information: Dr. Reis may be reached at (732) 996-9333 and firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please do not publish contact information). Author disclosures are on the abstract.
(Note: Actual presentation time is 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET, Tuesday, March 2, 2010.)
Abstract 43 – Drinking caffeinated coffee linked to decreased risk of type 2 diabetes
A sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) (a glycoprotein that binds to sex hormones) may be the key mechanism that links drinking caffeinated coffee with the decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's 50th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.
Based on the Women's Health study with a 10-year follow-up period, researchers analyzed 359 post-menopausal women with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes and matched them with 359 control women by age, race, and time of blood draw. Researchers found that women who drank four or more cups of caffeinated coffee had a 56 percent decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who did not drink coffee. Notably, greater intake of caffeinated coffee appeared to be significantly associated with increased blood SHBG levels. The significant association between caffeinated coffee intake and type 2 diabetes was largely reduced after further adjustment for SHBG levels.
The potential protective effect of caffeinated coffee consumption on type 2 diabetes may be explained by SHBG metabolism. Researchers said their finding deserves further evaluation.
Contact information: Atsushi Goto, M.D., University of California-Los Angeles; (310) 206-7205; email@example.com. (Please do not publish contact information.) Author disclosures are on the abstract.
(Note: Actual presentation time is 9:25 a.m. PT/12:25 p.m. ET, Friday, March 5, 2010.)
Abstract P44 – Habitual coffee consumption associated with slightly more high blood pressure
Coffee drinkers who habitually consume one to three cups of coffee daily appeared to be at a slightly increased risk of developing hypertension, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's 2010 Conference on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism.
In a meta-analysis, researchers analyzed data from six prospective studies that examined long-term coffee consumption and its effects on blood pressure in a group of similar individuals. The meta-analysis involved more than 172, 567 participants and 37,135 cases of hypertension. The range of follow-up was from 6 to 33 years.
"The meta-analysis suggested that people with habitual low-to-moderate coffee consumption (one to three cups per day) may have a slightly elevated risk of hypertension," researchers said. However, researchers said the number of studies is small and it's uncertain whether the relationship is independent of known dietary risk factors for hypertension.