Caffeine Doesn't Cause Extra Heartbeats
More good news for coffee lovers. Researchers from the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) have concluded that regular caffeine consumption is not linked to extra heartbeats, a finding that runs counter to previous research.
While extra heartbeats are a common occurrence, the condition can lead to heart problems, stroke and death in rare cases.
The research team assessed 1,388 participants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Cardiovascular Health Study database, which includes 6,000 patients. They excluded patients with persistent extra heartbeats.
In total, 61 percent of the participants consumed more than one caffeine item per day. Results showed that there was no difference in premature atrial contractions (PACs) or premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) per hour no matter how much coffee, tea or chocolate they consumed. Those two conditions, when present, are linked to a higher risk of stroke and heart disease. Also, study participants who consumed such products more frequently did not have extra heartbeats.
This is the first study that is community based and that examines the impact of caffeine on extra heartbeats. Previous studies examined patients with known arrhythmias.
The study authors concluded: "Clinical recommendations advising against the regular consumption of caffeinated products to prevent disturbances of the heart's cardiac rhythm should be reconsidered, as we may unnecessarily be discouraging consumption of items like chocolate, coffee and tea that might actually have cardiovascular benefits."
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