August 27, 2007 / 5:31 PM / 12 years ago

Coffee linked with high blood pressure risk

A barista makes a latte art during the finals of the World Barista Championship in Tokyo August 2, 2007. The likelihood of having to start drug treatment to control high blood pressure, or hypertension, seems to be increased among coffee drinkers. However, researchers also found no relationship between how much coffee one drinks and increased risk of hypertension, whether one drinks one or eight cups or more per day. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The likelihood of having to start drug treatment to control high blood pressure, or hypertension, seems to be increased among coffee drinkers. However, researchers also found no relationship between how much coffee one drinks and increased risk of hypertension, whether one drinks one or eight cups or more per day.

Although there have been previous studies, the association between coffee consumption and hypertension is still not clear, Dr. Gang Hu, of the National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland, and colleagues report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The researchers therefore followed 24,710 Finnish subjects between the ages of 25 and 64 years with no history of drug treatment for hypertension, coronary heart disease, or stroke. Self-administered questionnaires were used to assess daily coffee consumption.

The subjects were followed for an average of 13.2 years. During that time, a total of 2,505 individuals started antihypertensive drug treatment.

The risk of needing to start on antihypertensive drug treatment was higher in coffee drinkers than in the noncoffee drinkers, with the highest increased risk of 29 percent, being associated with drinking two to three cups daily. However, drinking more than eight cups per day only increased the risk by 14 percent.

“Even though the risk of hypertension associated with coffee consumption was relatively small, it may have some public health importance because coffee is the most consumed drink, other than water, and hypertension is a major health problem in the world,” Hu and colleagues point out.

“On the other hand,” they add, “coffee consumption seems to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the relation between coffee consumption and cardiovascular disease risk is complicated, and further studies are needed.”

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2007.

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