Drinking Coffee May Prevent Heart Disease, Study Says

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The coffee drinkers of the world can feel a little more virtuous about their daily caffeine habit today, because a new study has linked coffee with even more health benefits. Coffee has previously been linked with lower risk of cancer, diabetes, and depression in women. Now a new study indicates that a person’s daily coffee habit might be helping their heart health.

Researchers from the University of Colorado were tasked with finding dietary habits that might reduce the risk of heart disease. To do that, they combed through a long-running database of American eating habits and cardiovascular health, and they agreed that one thing really stood out: coffee.

According to the new findings, which were presented to the American Heart Association earlier this week, drinking coffee daily is linked with less heart failure, stroke, and coronary heart disease.

In even better news, the benefits seemed to increase with every cup of coffee. Drinking one eight-ounce cup of coffee every day lowered the risk of heart failure by eight percent, stroke by seven percent, and coronary heart disease by five percent, compared with people who didn’t drink coffee. And every additional daily cup repeated the reduction, up to six cups.

Researchers don’t know if the benefits would continue to add up with more coffee, because it’s hard to find people who drink more than six cups of coffee a day to study. These researchers were using the Framingham Heart Study, which is a long-running study of dietary and lifestyle habits and heart health that began in the 1940s and now includes over 15,000 people, but 97 percent of the people included in it drink fewer than six cups of coffee every day.

These are still early findings, but when added to previous studies about the health benefits of coffee, they present a pretty rosy picture for those of us who start every day with a nice big cup of coffee.