Coffee cuts chance of irregular heartbeat
SAN FRANCISCO - While a shot of espresso may give people the sensation their hearts are racing, drinking coffee reduced the likelihood that patients would be hospitalized for irregular heartbeats, researchers found.
A study of 130,054 adults found that people who drank four cups or more of coffee daily had an 18 percent lower risk of being hospitalized for irregular heartbeats and other heart- rhythm conditions than noncoffee drinkers, researchers at the health system Kaiser Permanente said yesterday. The risk of hospitalization was 7 percent lower for people who drank one to three cups of coffee daily, the researchers said.
Cardiac rhythm disorders are problems in the heart’s electrical systems that cause it to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly. Atrial fibrillation, a rapid, irregular heart beat that is the most common of these conditions, will affect an estimated 2.7 million Americans in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“People who are moderate coffee drinkers can be reassured that they are not doing harm because of their coffee drinking,’’ said Arthur Klatsky, the study’s lead investigator.
The study is scheduled for presentation tomorrow at an American Heart Association conference in San Francisco.