Caffeine May Prevent Heart Disease in the Elderly

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Habitual intake of caffeinated beverages provides protection against the risk of heart disease mortality among the elderly. The study, published in this months issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that participants 65 years of age or older with higher caffeinated beverage intake exhibited lower relative risk of cardiovascular disease and heart disease mortality than did participants with lower caffeinated beverage intake [1].

The analysis involved 6594 participants aged 32-86 with no history of cardiovascular disease. Analyses were conducted for 426 cardiovascular disease deaths that occurred over an 8.8 year period. The dose-responsive protective effect of caffeinated beverage intake against death from heart disease in the elderly is attributed to caffeine’s enhancement of blood pressure. The protective effect was found only in participants who were not severely hypertensive. No significant protective effect was found in patients less than 65 years of age and no protective effect was found against death from stroke regardless of age.

References

  1. Greenberg et al. Caffeinated beverage intake and the risk of heart disease mortality in the elderly: a prospective analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Feb;85(2):392-8.
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About the Author

Walter Jessen is a senior writer for Highlight HEALTH Media.