Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is coffee bad for the heart?
A: No. Research to date has shown that drinking coffee in moderation is not associated with the development of cardiovascular problems, including atherosclerotic disease, myocardial infarction, ventricular arrhythmias and hypertension.
Q: Can coffee lead to a deterioration in those patients with already diagnosed cardiovascular illness?
A: Studies on post-infarct patients and those with a history of serious ventricular arrhythmias have shown that consumption of reasonable amounts of caffeine does not lead to any form of myocardial deterioration. A few patients may be particularly sensitive to caffeine, but this is not so for all cardiac patients, as research has shown that caffeine does not make their condition worse.
Q: Does drinking coffee cause a rise in blood pressure?
A: For individuals who regularly consume caffeine, coffee has no effect on blood pressure. For people who have not consumed caffeine for a certain period of time, drinking coffee can lead to a small, short-lived (2-3 days) increase in blood pressure.
Q: How big an increase in blood pressure will caffeine-naïve individuals experience on drinking coffee?
A: The rise (just a few mm of mercury) may be smaller than would be observed during normal everyday active conversation or exercise.
Q: How long would such a rise last?
A: Any caffeine-associated increase in blood pressure would have subsided back to pre-caffeine levels after 2-3 days.
Q: Would the blood pressure of a regular coffee drinker stay higher compared with that of a non-coffee drinker?
A: No. Research shows that regular coffee drinkers do not have comparatively higher blood pressure than non coffee drinkers, as the body quickly becomes tolerant to caffeine’s minimal effects on blood pressure.
Q: Is abstinence from drinking coffee healthier for the heart and likely to lower blood pressure?
A: No. There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that abstaining from drinking coffee has any direct benefits on either general cardiac health or blood pressure.
Q: Should people with high blood pressure stop drinking coffee?
A: No. Research shows that abstinence from coffee is of no benefit to people with mild hypertension. There is no evidence to suggest that continued consumption of coffee further compounds hypertension in any diagnosed patients.
Q: Does coffee cause palpitations?
A: No. Research has shown that individuals may experience palpitations (irregular heartbeats) irrespective of whether they are consuming coffee or not.