Coffee Can Cut The Risk of Heart Disease

March 9th, 2015
Coffee Can Cut The Risk of Heart Disease

Coffee can reduce the danger of heart attacks, suggests a study by researchers from the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, South Korea. Published in peer-reviewed medical journal Heart, the cross-sectional study was designed to discover if a link existed between coffee consumption and the early signs of heart disease. The study looked at 25,000 people in South Korea and found that those who consumed between 3 and 5 cups of coffee daily were not as likely to develop early symptoms of heart disease as those who did not.

The condition that was being looked for is known as atherosclerosis, an ailment that sees the arteries harden, which, in turn, limits the supply of blood to the heart. The condition is serious because it can lead to blood clots in some cases, and this can lead to heart attacks. The researchers used CT scans to measure the level of calcium deposits, one of the first indicators of atherosclerosis, in the coronary arteries.

The researchers found that moderate daily consumption of coffee was linked to a decreased predominance of CAC (coronary artery calcium) in a large sample of adults free of CVD. They added that more research will be necessary to confirm these findings and determine the biological basis of the possible preventive effects of coffee on coronary artery disease. Given the large base of the study, some experts have pointed to this research as being indicative of a need for further study into the potential coronary benefits of coffee, but also some other consumables too.

A health expert from the online healthcare company, 121doc, did point out some discrepancies in the research though, specifically highlighting the fact that, as a cross-sectional study, the research only looks at data from one point in time. Additionally, the expert pointed out that given the study’s demographic – with an average age of 41 and with 83.7% of those studied being male – it would be premature to assume that the research was wholly indicative of the effects of coffee on wider society. There was also potential for inconsistencies, the expert added, as some of the research was based on a self-administered questionnaire that the participants completed themselves, and that they also did not have to specify whether they drank caffeinated or de-caffeinated coffee, meaning that the study could be based on false data. He concluded that, although there is possibly some truth in the findings, it is far too early to assume that an increased caffeine or coffee intake could lead to a decrease in coronary heart disease.

There have also been studies in the past suggesting that higher caffeine intake can be associated with other health risks. Until more research has been conducted it is likely that most healthcare professionals will continue to suggest more traditional practices like quitting smoking to combat the rise or development of heart conditions.

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