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Heart-healthy? Study shows drinking up to 3 cups of coffee a day could lower risk of stroke, heart disease

A maximum of three cups a day is associated with a lower risk of stroke and fatal heart disease.

SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. — Break out the coffee mug...or three!

According to a new study from the European Society of Cardiology shared by Science Daily, light-to-moderate coffee drinking is now associated with some health benefits. 

Those health benefits include a lower risk of stroke and fatal heart disease.

Science Daily shared a quote from study author Dr. Judit Simon, of the Heart and Vascular Centre, Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary. 

"Our results suggest that regular coffee consumption is safe, as even high daily intake was not associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes and all-cause mortality after a follow-up of 10 to 15 years," Dr. Simon said. "Moreover, 0.5 to 3 cups of coffee per day was independently associated with lower risks of stroke, death from cardiovascular disease, and death from any cause." 

According to multiple sources, coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. Science Daily reports that still, there is little known about the long-term impacts of regular consumption on cardiovascular health. 

Here is Science Daily's breakdown of the latest study:

"This study investigated the association between usual coffee intake and incident heart attack, stroke and death. The study included 468,629 participants of the UK Biobank with no signs of heart disease at the time of recruitment. The average age was 56.2 years and 55.8% were women.

Participants were divided into three groups according to their usual coffee intake: none (did not consume coffee on a regular basis, 22.1%), light-to-moderate (0.5 to 3 cups/day, 58.4%) and high (more than 3 cups/day, 19.5%).

The researchers estimated the association of daily coffee consumption with incident outcomes over a median follow-up of 11 years using multivariable models. The analyses were adjusted for factors that could influence the relationship including age, sex, weight, height, smoking status, physical activity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol level, socioeconomic status, and usual intake of alcohol, meat, tea, fruit and vegetables.

Compared to non-coffee drinkers, light-to-moderate consumption was associated with a 12% lower risk of all-cause death (hazard ratio [HR]=0.88, p<0.001), 17% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease (HR=0.83, p=0.006), and 21% lower risk of incident stroke (HR=0.79; p=0.037).

To examine the potential underlying mechanisms, the researchers analysed the association between daily coffee intake and heart structure and function over a median follow-up of 11 years. For this, they used data from 30,650 participants who underwent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is considered the gold standard for the assessment of cardiac structure and function."