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Can Coffee Cut a Woman's Stroke Risk?
Date:3/10/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have at least one cup of coffee -- or even five cups -- daily may be reducing their risk of stroke by as much as 25 percent, new Swedish research shows.

And women who don't drink coffee at all may actually be increasing their risk for stroke, the researchers noted.

However, the researchers added, these findings are preliminary and should not cause any change in coffee-drinking habits.

"Results from our study in women showed that consumption of 1 to 5 cups of coffee per day was associated with a 22 to 25 percent lower risk of stroke, compared with consumption of less than 1 cup a day," said lead researchers Susanna Larsson, from the National Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

"Even small amounts of coffee may reduce the risk of stroke," she added.

The study is published in the March 10 issue of Stroke.

For the study, Larsson's team collected data on 34,670 women, aged 49 to 83, who took part in the Swedish Mammography Cohort, which looked for associations between diet, lifestyle and disease.

Between 1998 and 2008, 1,680 women had a stroke. But the researchers found that coffee drinkers had a 22 percent to 25 percent lowered risk.

Women who reported drinking 1-2 cups a day, 3-4 cups a day or 5 or more cups had similar benefits, compared with women who drank less than a cup of coffee, the researchers found. The results remained unchanged even after taking into account smoking, weight, diabetes, high blood pressure or drinking, they added.

Although the women in the study were not asked whether they drank decaf coffee, most Swedes drink caffeinated coffee, Larsson noted.

The researchers speculated that coffee might reduce inflammation, lower oxidative stress and improve insulin resistance, which in turn could lower the risk for stro
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