Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. It is the most frequent form of irregular heartbeat, and causes a substantially increased risk of stroke, heart failure and all-cause mortality. It has previously been speculated that consumption of coffee might increase the risk of developing atrial fibrillation.
A new study has revealed that drinking coffee in moderation does not increase the risk of developing atrial fibrillation.
Lead author Susanna Larsson from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, said, "This is the largest prospective study to date on the association between coffee consumption and risk of atrial fibrillation. We find no evidence that high consumption of coffee increases the risk of atrial fibrillation."
For the study, researchers analyzed four other studies involving nearly 250,000 individuals over the course of 12 years. The participants reported how many cups of coffee they consumed. There were 4,311 and 2,730 incident atrial fibrillation cases in men and women, respectively, in the two cohorts. The median daily coffee consumption was three cups.
The researchers found that coffee consumption was not associated with atrial fibrillation incidence in these cohort studies, even in more extreme levels of coffee consumption. This lack of association was confirmed in a follow-up meta-analysis that included the present two cohorts and four other prospective studies, giving a total of 10,406 cases of atrial fibrillation diagnosed among 248,910 individuals.
The research was published in the BMC Medicine.