If you love a jolt of java in the morning but worry about long-term health effects, sip away. A new study has found that NOT drinking coffee is actually linked with an increased risk of stroke. That’s right: not drinking coffee.
The study, followed over 34,000 Swedish women between the ages of ages 49 to 83. All the women were free of heart disease at the start of the study in 1997, when they filled out a food frequency questionnaire. Over the 10-year study period, there were 1,680 strokes among the group. The researchers found that the women who reported drinking more than a cup of coffee a day had a 22 to 25 per cent lower risk of stroke compared with those who drank less. Drinking no coffee, or less than a cup a day, was associated with an increased risk of stroke.
Even after the researchers adjusted their findings for the volunteers’ smoking status, body mass index, history of diabetes, high blood pressure or alcohol consumption, regular coffee drinking still seemed to have a protective effect against stroke.While it’s too soon to recommend that women take up more coffee drinking, the study should ease the concerns of some women.
It’s not clear what it is about the coffee that may have the protective effects but they suspect antioxidants, polyphenols and other compounds that reduce inflammation may be protecting the lining of arteries from damage.