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Coffee May Not Risk Irregular Heartbeat Study Claims

Finds no link between beverage and increased odds of atrial fibrillation

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that drinking coffee doesn't seem to up the odds of a common type of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation.

But these findings don't necessarily mean coffee drinkers are free and clear. Coffee may trigger other types of irregular heartbeat, the researchers noted. They also suggested that more research should be done confirming that there isn't a relationship between atrial fibrillation and coffee drinking.

The study included 75,000 people who reported their coffee consumption in 1997. Their average coffee consumption was three cups a day. The researchers followed the participants' health for the next 12 years. The researchers also reviewed findings from four previous studies that followed nearly 250,000 people for up to 12 years. All studies were done in Sweden or the United States.

The investigators found no link between drinking coffee and atrial fibrillation in any of the studies. That was true even among those with the highest levels of coffee consumption.

The findings were published Sept. 22 in the journal BMC Medicine.

"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," study author Susanna Larsson said in a journal news release.

Larsson is an associate professor of epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

Atrial fibrillation can significantly increase the risk of stroke, heart failure and death, the researchers said.

More information

The American Heart Association has more about atrial fibrillation.

SOURCE: BMC Medicine, news release, Sept. 22, 2015
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