February 21, 2020

What’s The Link Between Caffeine and Cardiovascular Health?

Caffeine is a stimulant that’s found naturally in plants that are used to make certain beverages. For many people, a cup of tea or coffee is part of their morning ritual, and others drink them all day long. However, people who consume these drinks regularly may wonder about caffeine and heart health. Is caffeine good or bad for cardiovascular health? Or does it have little or no effect? This article addresses those questions.

Caffeine and Heart Disease

There was a time when studies looking at caffeine and heart disease, and in particular coffee and heart disease, seemed to indicate that high coffee consumption could be bad for heart health. For example, it was thought to contribute to aortic stiffness, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

However, more recent studies, which have done a better job of accounting for other heart disease risk factors like smoking and a sedentary lifestyle, have come up with different results. Researchers have found that coffee consumption doesn’t contribute to aortic stiffness. What’s more, drinking coffee is associated with many health benefits and a lower risk of total mortality, which includes death from heart disease.

Black coffee is best, of course. Dressing it up with too much cream and sugar can offset its benefits.

Caffeine and Heart Attacks

People with an elevated risk of a heart attack often wonder if coffee causes heart attacks. Generally speaking, moderate caffeine consumption doesn’t seem to elevate the risk of a heart attack. That said, this is a question best asked of your physician, as they’re familiar with your specific medical condition and can give you more accurate advice.

If you’ve had a cardiac event, is it safe to consume caffeine after a heart attack? Here again, your doctor can provide guidance. Caffeine may affect you differently after a heart attack than before, so it’s important to discuss coffee or tea consumption with your care team.

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