Cardiovascular Effects of Coffee: Is It a Risk Factor?

Isabella Sudano, MD; Christian Binggeli, MD; Lukas Spieker, MD; Thomas Felix Lüscher, MD; Frank Ruschitzka, MD; Georg Noll, MD; Roberto Corti, MD


Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. 2005;20(2):65-69. 

In This Article

Coffee Consumption and Risk of Myocardial Infarction

The effect of coffee drinking on CV morbidity and mortality is controversial. While previous early studies demonstrated a positive correlation between regular coffee intake and risk of myocardial infarction (MI), recent studies found either an inverse relationship or no relationship. In an early study, drinking more than six cups of coffee per day doubled the risk of MI.[50] The results obtained in this study were corrected for all other risk factors. Another early prospective study showed a 2.5 times increased risk of fatal and nonfatal coronary event in coffee drinkers, although the number of events was relatively small (51 coronary heart disease [CHD] events and 21 MIs).[51]

In a newer prospective study[52] conducted in 45,589 Americans, the age-corrected RR for all CV diseases was marginally increased (RR, 1.04) in persons who drank four or more cups of coffee; however, the risk for CHD exhibited a positive correlation with the consumption of decaffeinated coffee (RR, 1.63).

A retrospective analysis of the Nurse's Health Study[53] conducted in the United States showed no correlation between coffee intake and CV disease in 85,747 women (aged 34-59 years; follow-up, 10 years).

Moreover, a recent study found no association between coffee consumption and post-MI mortality.[54] In men (n=230; aged 40-57 years) enrolled in a Swedish study, an inverse correlation was found between coffee consumption (more than seven cups per day) and the risk of CHD.[55] Similar results were reported for limited consumption of coffee (one to two cups per day).[56] More recently, a prospective study of 2975 men aged 53-74 years and without CHD were followed for 6 years. The risk of an ischemic event (corrected for all other risk factors) was 6.8%, 6.7%, and 4.6% for a consumption of one to four, five to eight, or more than eight cups of coffee per day, respectively.[57]


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