Coffee and plant-based diets linked to lower heart failure risk


The news about coffee just keeps getting better. Well, in addition to maybe preventing liver disease, cancer, and erectile dysfunction, scientists say there's exciting new proof coffee might make your heart healthier.

Good news for coffee lovers; new data shows one to six cups of coffee per day is linked to a healthier heart.

Findings from both studies were presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions meeting in Anaheim, California. It has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, but it's not the first research to suggest that coffee protects the heart and arteries.

Kyla Lara at Mount Sinai Hospital in NY and her team have analysed data on diet and heart health from more than 15,000 people over the age of 45.

The machine result also pointed to red meat reducing the risk of heart failure and stroke, but due to differing definitions of red meat, they couldn't draw the same conclusion as coffee across all three studies.

The study was carried out using an artificially intelligent machine-learning system.

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She added: "Our findings suggest that machine learning could help us identify additional factors to improve existing risk assessment models. The challenge here is there are so many potential risk factors, and testing each one using traditional methods would be extremely time consuming, and possibly infeasible".

Heart disease is responsible for 70,000 deaths each year in the United Kingdom, making it one of the countries biggest killers.

It found that each additional cup of coffee drunk per week was associated with a lower risk of heart failure and stroke compared with no consumption.

Another team of researchers found that increasing coffee consumption by one cup per week reduced the risk of heart failure by seven per cent and stroke by eight per cent. Nearly all of the coffee drinkers in the study (97%) consumed between one and six cups of coffee a day, says Stevens, so the researchers can't know for sure if the benefits continue at even higher consumption levels.

Laura Stevens, first author of the study, said: 'The association between drinking coffee and a decreased risk of heart failure and stroke was consistently noted in all three studies'.

Additionally, the researchers performed traditional data analysis - Cox proportional hazards - on the information sourced from two other large population studies: the Cardiovascular Health Study and the Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities Study.

The second study observed another link between cardiovascular health and coffee - which, of course, is another plant-based food. Heart failure is a progressive chronic condition that occurs when the heart muscle does not pump enough blood to meet the body's requirements for oxygen and blood.