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Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
Date:3/2/2010

t rhythm problems."

The study didn't offer any reason why coffee might reduce heart rhythm problems, Klatsky said. "It could be that coffee drinkers have better diets or exercise more. We can't say for sure that it might not be related to minor heart rhythm problems that don't require hospitalization."

The bottom line: "Coffee drinkers don't have to quit because they have heart rhythm problems," Klatsky said. "That's about as far as we can go."

Another study that has followed more than 3,000 men and women for 20 years found no association between coffee consumption and atherosclerosis for just about every demographic group -- men and women, blacks and whites, smokers and nonsmokers. Participants in the study included people whose coffee consumption ranged from none to more than four cups a day.

"Based on these data, there does not appear to be any substantial association between coffee drinking and increased or decreased odds of developing atherosclerosis or its progression over time," study leader Jared Reis, an epidemiologist with the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, said in a prepared statement.

The third study, based on a report from the long-running Women's Health Study, provided a possible explanation for a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes -- the kind that generally develops later in life -- among coffee drinkers. Researchers compared 359 post-menopausal women newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and 359 women without the disease. They found that women who drank four or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 56 percent lower risk of developing the condition than those who did not drink coffee.

That reduced risk appears to be due to the effects of caffeine on a protein that binds to sex hormones, said Dr. Atsushi Goto, of the University of California, Los Angeles, who presented the report. But the finding is preliminary and requires further study, Goto added.

The report
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