Excessive caffeine consumption increases blood pressure, heart rate and constricts blood vessels, which could trigger adverse events, experts say
According to a study, coffee drinkers with a blood pressure of 160/100 mm Hg or higher are twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease if they drink more than two cups of coffee a day. But drinking green tea or just a cup of coffee didn’t have the same effect.
According to the study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the findings apply to coffee drinkers with high blood pressure — not people whose blood pressure isn’t considered serious.
The researchers also found that those who drank just one coffee a day and drank green tea daily did not have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, regardless of their blood pressure reading, even though both drinks contained caffeine. The 19-year study enrolled more than 6,570 men and 12,000 women aged 40 to 79 years at the start of the research, who were selected from the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study for Evaluation of Cancer Risk.
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“Caffeine has been studied over the years for its beneficial and harmful effects on heart health. This study agrees with them. But all have favored moderate consumption. You can expect to get about 80 to 90 mg of caffeine from an average cup of coffee, which increases blood pressure and heart rate and constricts blood vessels. Excessive coffee consumption accelerates adverse events in patients with hypertension. Also, excessive coffee drinking is a surrogate sign of excessive stress that the person is experiencing at work or at home. This, along with the physiological effects of excessive caffeine and an unhealthy lifestyle, can definitely damage heart health,” says Dr. Neeraj Bhalla, Senior Director, Cardiology, BLK Max Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi.
“The study confirms what we have known for a long time. In our nutritional advice for heart patients and people with high blood pressure, we always warn against drinking too much coffee. Excessive caffeine consumption increases heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety and is definitely not recommended for risk groups. Green tea, on the other hand, has very low levels of caffeine that does not adversely affect heart rate or metabolism,” said Ritika Samaddar, regional head, department of clinical nutrition and dietetics, Max Healthcare.
The study’s lead author, Hiroyasu Iso, MD, PhD, MPH, director of the Institute for Global Health Policy Research, Bureau of International Health Cooperation, National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo, Japan, and professor emeritus at Osaka University, said : “Our study aimed to determine whether the known protective effects of coffee also apply to people with different levels of hypertension; and studied the effects of green tea in the same population. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to find an association between drinking two or more cups of coffee per day and mortality from cardiovascular disease in people with severe hypertension. These results may support the claim that people with severe hypertension should avoid excessive coffee consumption. Because people with severe hypertension are more susceptible to the effects of caffeine, its harmful effects may outweigh its protective effects and increase the risk of death.”
Previous studies have shown that a daily cup of coffee can improve the health of heart attack survivors and prevent heart attacks or strokes in healthy people. Other studies have also shown that drinking coffee regularly can reduce the risk of developing some chronic diseases, lower the risk of depression, and control appetite.