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Coffee Drinking and Caffeine Associated With Reduced Risk of Hospitalization for Heart Rhythm Disturbances
Date:3/2/2010

While emphasizing that these observational data do not establish causality and a protective mechanism is unclear, researchers speculate that moderate doses of caffeine may affect rhythm disturbances by antagonism of adenosine, a nucleoside compound widely distributed in the body.  In the heart adenosine has several effects on conduction of electrical impulses, muscle cell energetics, and heart muscle cell recovery that might predispose to rhythm problems. Caffeine antagonizes adenosine effects by blocking its chemical sites of action.

The researchers examined hospitalization data by elapsed time after the initial examination.  For hospitalization within 10 years, the reduction in hospitalizations for people who consumed four cups of coffee or more each day reached 28 percent.

The researchers also studied persons in the group with or without symptoms or history of heart and respiratory disease.  For both groups, consuming four cups of coffee daily appeared to be associated with fewer hospitalizations for rhythm disturbances.

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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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