For many decades, doctors have thought that drinking coffee could cause heart rhythm issues. They would warn their patients that caffeine might jolt their hearts into a herky-jerky heartbeat. According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine on July 19, 2021, every cup of coffee drank by an individual — daily — could lower their risk of arrhythmia by around three percent.
The study’s co-author, Dr. Gregory Marcus — associate chief of cardiology for research at the University of California in San Francisco — stated:
We see no evidence for this broad-based recommendation to avoid coffee or caffeine.
Marcus admitted that caffeine could be a “trigger” for some people. However, he thinks “the growing evidence is those cases are actually quite rare.” He believes, “The majority of people, even those with arrhythmias, should be able to enjoy their cup of coffee.” Marcus added that “some people for whom caffeine or coffee may actually help reduce their risk.”
Java is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide. However, its stimulant properties have caused doctors to inform their heart patients to be cautious if they drink it. Normally they tell their patients to avoid drinking java or anything with caffeine in it.
Marcus and his colleagues studied over 386,000 people participating in a long-term British study to determine the effect caffeine has on the heart; whether it causes it to make the heart race or beat erratically. Researchers found that in a 4.5 years study around 17,000 people developed heart arrhythmia.
Researchers asked all the participants about their coffee consumption. They then compared the likelihood of the participants developing an abnormal heart rhythm down the line. Scientists discovered that there was no link between caffeine and heart rhythm issues. They even factored in genetic codes that might influence the way individuals metabolize caffeine.
An associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Zachary Goldberger, stated the study’s results showed “there is absolutely some unsubstantiated dogma that coffee can cause arrhythmias.”
In previous studies, researchers found that coffee has anti-inflammatory properties. It is a well-known fact that inflammation can contribute to heart rhythm issues. Marcus further stated that caffeine sometimes motivates people to be more physically active. Exercise can reduce a person’s risk of developing arrhythmia.
Written by Sheena Robertson
WebMD: Coffee Won’t Upset Your Heartbeat. It Might Even Calm It; by Dennis Thompson
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