Coffee Consumption and Cardiovascular Health: Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Abstract

As coffee-consumption is a widespread tradition, its possible impact on health has been of considerable interest. This review examines the effects of coffee on cardiovascular risk, outlines underlying biological mechanisms, and discusses implications for public health. In the past, coffee was often viewed as a cardiovascular risk-factor. However, in meta-analyses of recent well-controlled prospective epidemiologic studies, coffee-consumption was not associated with risk of coronary heart disease and weakly associated with a lower risk of stroke and heart failure. Also, available evidence largely suggests that coffee-consumption is not associated with a higher risk of fatal cardiovascular events. In randomized trials coffee-consumption resulted in small increases in blood pressure. Unfiltered coffee increased circulating LDL cholesterol and triglycerides concentrations, but filtered coffee had no substantial effects on blood lipids. In summary, for most healthy people, moderate coffee consumption is unlikely to adversely affect cardiovascular health. Future work should prioritize understanding the effects of coffee in at-risk populations.

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Conflict of Interest

Salome A. Rebello is a co-investigator on Nestle Research Center funded clinical trial. Rob M. van Dam is a Principal Investigator on a Nestle Research Center funded clinical trial. He has received research funds from Nestle Research Center; has received travel/accommodation expenses covered for unpaid scientific talk.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Correspondence to Salome A. Rebello.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Ischemic Heart Disease

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Rebello, S.A., van Dam, R.M. Coffee Consumption and Cardiovascular Health: Getting to the Heart of the Matter. Curr Cardiol Rep 15, 403 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11886-013-0403-1

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Keywords

  • Coffee
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Blood lipids
  • Blood pressure
  • Inflammation
  • Insulin resistance
  • Heart failure
  • Arrhythmias
  • Homocysteine
  • Cardiovascular mortality