High blood pressure? Drinking 2 cups of coffee a day doubles the risk of death from heart disease, a new study finds

High blood pressure? Drinking 2 cups of coffee a day doubles the risk of death from heart disease, a new study finds

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For many people, the day doesn’t really begin until they have their first cup of coffee in their hands. As well as giving you the kick you need in the morning to kick into gear, research has also found that Java can have significant health benefits in some cases. But as a potent stimulant, there’s still plenty of reason to keep track of how many Joes you’re getting back. And now a new study has found that drinking just two cups of coffee a day can double the risk of death from heart disease in people with high blood pressure. Read on to see if you should delay ordering your next cup.

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A new study has found that drinking two cups of coffee a day doubles the risk of death from heart disease in people with high blood pressure.

The latest coffee insight potential health effects comes from a study published in Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) on December 21. To gather data, a team of researchers used 6,574 men and 12,035 women participating in the Japan Joint Cancer Risk Assessment Cohort Study. All participants in the group were between the ages of 40 and 79 when they enrolled in the study between 1988 and 1990.

The participants were followed in 2009, during which they self-reported their coffee and tea consumption habits and their lifestyle, diet and medical history were assessed using data collected during health examinations and questionnaires, according to a statement from the American Heart Association ( AHA). Blood pressure was measured at one point during the study, allowing the team to classify each participant into one of five groups based on their readings. Categories were divided into optimal and normal at blood pressure 130/85; high norm at 130-139/85-89; hypertension degree 1 from 140-159/90-99; hypertension degree 2 at 160-179/100-109; and grade 3 hypertension for readings of 180/110 or higher. For the purposes of the study, anyone with a reading of 160/100 or higher was considered to have severe hypertension.

The results of the team’s analysis found that study participants in the severe hypertension category who drank two or more cups of coffee per day had a double the risk of death from heart disease compared to those who did not drink coffee.

The results also show that not everyone who drank coffee or tea had the same jump in risk.

But while the findings point to coffee consumption as a potential health problem, it’s not a problem everywhere. Drinking just one glass a day does not increase the risk of cardiovascular-related deaths. And no amount of green tea — which is also a caffeinated drink — was shown affects every group.

“We were surprised that heavy coffee consumption was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease mortality among people with severe hypertension, but not among those without hypertension or with stage 1 hypertension,” Masayuki Teramoto, MD, a study author from Osaka Graduate School of Medicine in Japan and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UC San Francisco, told HealthDay. “In contrast, green tea consumption was not associated with an increased risk of CVD mortality across all blood pressure categories.”

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Other studies have found health benefits of drinking coffee.

In its press release announcing new researchThe AHA points out that previous studies have actually found that there is some health benefits to the coffee. A 2021 study published in the journal Circulation: Heart failure found that increasing coffee consumption was associated with a decreased risk of heart failure. The organization also cited other studies that coffee consumption may actually reduce the risk of hypertension in patients who have not yet been diagnosed with the disease.

Researchers in the latest study also pointed out that the increased risk may not be related to caffeine at all, given the findings with green tea. Instead, they explained that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the polyphenols found in the drink may be behind the correlation.

“These beneficial effects of green tea may partially explain why only coffee consumption is associated with an increased risk of mortality in people with severe hypertension, even though both green tea and coffee contain caffeine,” Teramoto told HealthDay.

The researchers conclude that people with severe hypertension may want to reconsider their coffee intake.

Ultimately, the researchers said the study had some limitations, including that data on coffee and tea consumption was self-reported and that additional blood pressure readings were not taken to account for changes over time. The team also said that further research is needed to establish a more robust relationship between coffee or green tea consumption and blood pressure, using more diverse groups of participants. But they concluded that their findings point to some potential lifestyle solutions for those with hypertension.

“These findings may support the proposition that people with severe high blood pressure should avoid drinking excessive coffee,” Hiroyasu Iso, MD, PhD, senior author of the study and director of the Institute for Global Health Policy Research at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo, said in a news release. “Because people with severe hypertension are more susceptible to the effects of caffeine, the harmful effects of caffeine may outweigh its protective effects and may increase the risk of death.”

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