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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Coffee and Heart Disease

Many patients ask me about the safety of drinking coffee. This is re-enforced when they are admitted to the hospital and only given decaf coffee.

For the most part, drinking coffee has not proven to increase mortality in men and women.

In the largest trial to date looking at coffee consumption in 41,736 men and 86,214 women -- there was no association in increased mortality (Ann Intern Med. 2008;148:904-914). In fact, there was a possible "modest benefit of coffee consumption on all-cause and CVD mortality."

This report adds heft to the hypothesis that coffee can stem heart disease, perhaps by battling the inflammatory damage associated with early stage illness.

This study was not the first to connect coffee drinking with good health. Over the years, other research has linked coffee consumption with lower rates of heart attack, liver cancer and diabetes.

While the above is true, there are certain situations where coffee consumption may be dangerous. Patients who have had a recent heart attack or someone prone to develop cardiac arrythmias should probably watch their coffee/caffeine intake.

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