A study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine reports that drinking coffee may actually reduce your risk of developing cardiac arrhythmia. The results defy the persisting notion that consuming coffee leads to or aggravates irregular heart rhythm.
Citing research taken from the UK Biobank, the study analyzed the health data of 386,258 individuals with an average age of 56. The team of authors, led by researchers from the UC San Francisco, conducted a four-year follow-up and found that 4% of the sample population went on to develop a cardiac arrhythmia. Interestingly, those who drank coffee during the study period not only did not have a higher rate of developing arrhythmias, but coffee consumption was found to actually decrease risk of developing cardiac arrhythmia by 3%.
In an announcement from UC San Francisco, corresponding author and professor of medicine at UCSF Dr. Gregory Marcus had this to say: “Coffee is the primary source of caffeine for most people, and it has a reputation for causing or exacerbating arrhythmias. But we found no evidence that caffeine consumption leads to a greater risk of arrhythmias.”
This research provides further confirmation for a groundbreaking 2018 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). That study also refuted the long-standing belief that coffee and caffeine contribute to the incidence of cardiac arrhythmias.
Marcus suggests professional medical workers use both studies to inform their recommendations with regards to caffeine and coffee consumption: “Our population-based study provides reassurance that common prohibitions against caffeine to reduce arrhythmia risk are likely unwarranted.”
The researchers admit that reliance on self-reporting from the sample population was a limiting factor for the study, and that no data was collected on the size and types of coffee consumed.
Marcus had this to say regarding the limitations of the study: “Only a randomized clinical trial can definitively demonstrate clear effects of coffee or caffeine consumption. But our study found no evidence that consuming caffeinated beverages increased the risk of arrhythmia.”