Chronic coffee drinking and genetically mediated differences in caffeine metabolism were not associated with an increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias, according to new findings published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Led by cardiologist Eun-jeong Kim, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, researchers analyzed data from a cohort of 386,258 patients. The patients had a mean age of 56 years old, and 52% were female.
During a mean follow-up of 4.5 years, 16,979 participants developed an incident arrhythmia, according to the authors.
After adjusting for demographic characteristics, comorbid conditions and lifestyle habits, each additional cup of habitual coffee consumed was associated with a 3% lower risk of developing incident arrhythmia.
In analyses of each arrhythmia by itself, statistically significant associations showing a similar magnitude were observed for atrial fibrillation (AFib) and/or flutter, according to the authors.
“A mendelian randomization study that used these same genetic variants revealed no significant association between underlying propensities to differing caffeine metabolism and the risk of incident arrhythmia. These data suggest that common prohibitions against caffeine to reduce arrhythmia risk are likely unwarranted,” Kim and colleagues concluded.
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