Woman, Caffeine and Heart Disease – Matters of the Heart
Caffeine and heart disease is another area that has been extensively examined, and no causal relationship between caffeine consumption and heart disease, high blood pressure or irregular heartbeat has been shown.
While most studies investigating heart disease in large populations involve men, two studies have included women. Researchers of the recent Scottish Heart Health Study conducted a study of 10,359 men and women aged 40-59. Their analysis showed no relationship between coffee consumption and heart disease. Additionally, the well-respected Framingham Study analyzed the relationship between coffee consumption and incidence of heart disease in 2,648 men and 3,566 women. After examining all possible links between coffee intake and heart disease, the researchers reported that no harmful effect of coffee consumption was found and that there was no association between coffee intake and recurring heart attack episodes.
The effects of caffeine on blood pressure and irregular heartbeat have also been topics of scientific investigation. The American Heart Association lists caffeine, along with other substances, as a possible contributor to an irregular heart beat. Women with such symptoms should check with their health care providers.
The U.S. Surgeon General’s report, Nutrition and Health, states that a number of studies have shown that any rise in blood pressure due to caffeine consumption is less than the elevation produced by normal, daily activities, such as climbing stairs, and is just as fleeting. A recent Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that coffee drinking is associated with small increases in blood pressure, but appears to play a small role in the development of hypertension. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Guide to Lowering High Blood Pressure advises, “Caffeine in coffee as well as in other drinks, such as tea and sodas, only raises blood pressure temporarily. So you should be able to continue to
have drinks that contain caffeine, unless you are sensitive to it or have heart disease and your doctor tells you not to have any.” Under some circumstances, health care providers
may advise people with hypertension to limit caffeine.