No, coffee does not increase the heart rate

Contrary to popular belief, coffee does not increase the heart rate. On the contrary, it can improve it. This is what a large study suggests that the hot drink does not seem to increase the risk of arrhythmias. The results were published on July 19 in the newspaper JAMA Internal Medicine.

Does coffee increase the heart rate?

Given the stimulating properties of caffeine, doctors have for decades recommended that heart patients avoid coffee consumption as it can worsen their heart rate. But a recent study can change that.

“We did not notice any evidence of this general recommendation”, confirmed study co-author Dr. Gregory Marcus. “It may be that caffeine is a trigger for some people, but I believe these cases are indeed quite rare in view of the growing evidence”, he added.

Indeed, the results indicate that each additional cup of coffee daily could reduce the risk of arrhythmia by about 3% on average.

“The majority of people, even those with arrhythmias, should be able to enjoy their cup of coffee. There may be some people for whom caffeine or coffee can actually help reduce their risk. “, Marcus said.

To find out whether caffeine can actually cause an accelerated or abnormal heartbeat, Marcus and his colleagues analyzed data from more than 386,000 individuals participating in a UK health study. Of this group, approximately 17,000 developed a heart rhythm disorder during an average follow-up of 4.5 years.

All participants were asked to provide information about their coffee consumption at the start of the study. After taking into account genetic factors that may influence the way people metabolize caffeine, the researchers found no connection between caffeine and disturbed heart rhythms.

“We found no evidence that people who consume more coffee or are exposed to more caffeine are at an increased risk of arrhythmia”, Marcus explained. He says more research is needed to better understand how coffee affects the heart and why it may protect against arrhythmias.

However, if you suffer from palpitations after drinking coffee, it is better to avoid it and consult your cardiologist.

References :

JAMA Internal Medicine (juillet 2021) : « Another Cup of Coffee Without an Arrhythmia, Please », Zachary Goldberger et Rodney Hayward.

MedicalXpress (juillet 2021) : « Coffee won’t upset your heartbeat, and might even calm it ».

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