For all your coffee addicts out there, some surprisingly good news. Too good to be true? Elane Conis reports for the Los Anegeles Times:
Looking for a reason to not give up your coffee habit? Here’s one possibility: heart health.
Numerous studies in recent years have reported that drinking coffee may be good for the cardiovascular system and might even help prevent strokes. Just last month, Swedish researchers announced results of a large study showing that coffee seemed to reduce the risk of stroke in women by up to 25%.
Not long ago, researchers thought quite the opposite about coffee and the heart, says Dr. Thomas Hemmen, director of the UC San Diego Stroke Center: “Coffee is fun and it tastes good, so people assumed for many years that it would be bad for you.”
Studies conducted in the 1970s and 1980s offered little in the way of confirmation or refutation. Several suggested an increased risk of heart attack among coffee drinkers. Others showed a lowered risk of heart attack and stroke. Still others found no connection at all.
Many of these early studies were criticized for being too small or too brief. In response, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health decided to look at coffee consumption, heart disease and stroke risk among more than 45,000 healthy men enrolled in the school’s ongoing Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Their analysis, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1990, found that coffee drinking had no effect on the men’s risk of heart attack or stroke.
But in the last few years, a spate of studies has revisited the question, and many of them have found — unexpectedly — that coffee drinking is linked to a decreased stroke risk…
[continues in the Los Anegeles Times]