Study Finds That Taking Caffeine Does Not Increase the Risk of Arrhythmia

New research titled Another Cup of Coffee Without an Arrhthymia, Please, published in JAMA International Medicine has found that caffeine does not increase the chances of arrhythmia in most people.

For many years now, healthcare workers have asked patients with heart rhythm problems to stop drinking coffee to avoid stimulating the heartbeat. While there is increasing evidence to show that caffeine might be a trigger for some cases, this is not always true.

Dr. Gregory Marcus, associate chief of cardiology for research at the University of San Francisco,  states that there is little evidence to support the blanket recommendation to stop caffeine intake. Instead, Dr. Marcus and his team found that coffee might lower the risk of arrhythmia.

Researchers have concluded that drinking a cup of coffee every day could reduce the risk of arrhythmia by 3%. The study also shows that coffee could be safe for patients with arrhythmia.

How researchers conducted the study

The researchers evaluated data from 386,000 long-term British health research participants with four and a half years follow-up. Researchers asked the participants about their coffee drinking habits at the beginning of the study. Afterward, they compared the responses to the risk of developing arrhythmia with time. From this number, about 17,000 of the volunteers developed the disorder.

Scientists took factors such as the genetic differences that influence caffeine metabolism. However, even with this in mind, there was no link between caffeine and arrhythmia.

Dr. Zachary Goldberger, a cardiovascular medicine associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and another study author, adds there is no evidence to support the claim that coffee increases the risk of arrhythmia.  However, he points out that the benefits of taking coffee to prevent arrhythmia are still too small.

How caffeine might prevent arrhythmias

Inflammation is one of the causes of arrhythmia, so caffeine, which has an anti-inflammatory effect, can prevent it. It can also encourage people to be physically active, reducing the risk for the disease. However, researchers point out that not all these mechanisms are known.

Caffeine might be harmful to some patients with arrhythmia. For this reason, healthcare workers must restrict coffee intake with such patients.

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