In an article published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers at the University of California (United States) revealed that they found no evidence that moderate coffee consumption can cause cardiac arrhythmia.
The study also showed that each additional daily cup of coffee consumed was associated with a 3% lower risk of any arrhythmia occurring, including atrial fibrillation, premature ventricular contractions, and other common conditions.
According to the researchers, coffee is the main source of caffeine for the vast majority of people and has a reputation for causing or increasing the risk of arrhythmias. However, that is not what the data showed.
For them, stopping caffeine consumption in order to reduce the chances of arrhythmia is an unjustified attitude; in fact, coffee may have anti-inflammatory benefits, being associated with reduced risks of developing some diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
More than 300,000 participants
In the study, the authors explored whether habitual coffee intake was associated with an arrhythmia risk and whether genetic variants affecting caffeine metabolism could modify this relationship.
A total of 386,258 coffee consumers were analyzed, with an average age of 56 years, with more than half being female (52.3%).
It is worth noting that, in addition to the analysis that examines whether coffee consumption is a predictor of future arrhythmias, the researchers also looked at genetic variants. Thus, the analysis provided a method to test the relationship between caffeine and arrhythmia without relying on participants’ self-report.
No evidence of increased risk
With an average follow-up of four years, the findings showed that approximately 4% of people developed an arrhythmia. However, there was no evidence of an increased risk among those who were not genetically predisposed.
After adjusting for demographic characteristics, health habits, and lifestyle, each additional cup of coffee consumed was associated with a 3% lower risk of incident arrhythmia.
According to the team involved, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of coffee can be protective against some types of arrhythmias..