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Moderate coffee drinking lowers risk of high BP in non-smokers, say Brazilian study

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MILAN — Brazilian researchers have found in a new study that moderate coffee intake (1–3 cups/day) reduces risk of developing high blood pressure (BP) in never smokers. Coffee, one of the most widely consumed beverages globally, is known to have a varied health impact and has its own benefits and harms.

A recent study in the journal Clinical Nutrition throws light on the association between coffee consumption and hypertension (high BP).

According to the study, the link between coffee intake and the incidence of hypertension was associated with smoking status. Moderate coffee consumption (1-3 cups/day) was found to be beneficial for hypertension risk in non-smokers only. Dietary habits, specifically coffee consumption is suspected to cause hypertension.

However, previous findings on the association between coffee consumption and incidence of hypertension have been inconsistent and non-homogeneous.

Andreia Machado Miranda, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, Department of Nutrition, São Paulo, SP, Brazil, and colleagues examined the association of habitual coffee consumption with the risk of developing hypertension in a middle-aged Brazilian cohort — Brazilian Longitudinal Study for Adult Health – ELSA-Brasil.

The cohort included 15,105 civil servants, aged 35–74 years at baseline, recruited from six Brazilian cites. In this study, the researchers studied data from 8,780 people initially free of hypertension during a mean follow-up of 3.9 years.

Coffee consumption was classified into four groups (cups/day): never/almost never, ≤ 1, 1–3, and > 3. The median total coffee consumption was 150 mL/day. The development of hypertension was reported in 1,285 participants.

Key findings of the study include:

Compared to participants who never or almost never drink coffee, the risk of hypertension was lower for individuals consuming 1–3 cups/day (RR 0.82).

After stratification by smoking status the analysis revealed a decreased risk of hypertension in never smokers drinking 1–3 cups of coffee per day (RR 0.79), whereas the hypertension risk among former and current smokers was not associated with coffee consumption significantly.

Upper category of coffee drinking (>3 cups/day) the association was not significant for the risk of hypertension.

“The association between coffee consumption and the incidence of hypertension was related to smoking status. The beneficial effect of moderate coffee intake (1–3 cups/day) on the risk of hypertension was observed only in never smokers,” concluded the authors. The study, “Coffee consumption and risk of hypertension:

A prospective analysis in the cohort study,” is published in the journal Clinical Nutrition. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2020.05.052