Coffee might not make your heart race

Coffee didn’t kick up the frequency of irregular or accelerated heart beats in a new study, the largest of its kind. 

If coffee makes your heart sing with happiness, but you’ve been worried about the caffeine sparking issues with your already irregular heartbeart, there’s good news from the research world. A new study suggests you might not have to skip your daily cup of joy, er, joe.

Researchers asked 1,388 people to report their consumption of coffee, tea and chocolate over a year and used Holter monitors worn by subjects 24 hours a day to generate electrocardiograms. Though more than 60 percent of the subjects said they consumed one or more caffeinated item daily, the electrocardiograms showed no differences in premature beats of episodes of accelerated heart rate between the people who had caffeine and those who did not. The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“There’s no clear evidence that drinking more caffeine increases the risk for early beats,” the senior author, Dr. Gregory M. Marcus, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco told the New York Times. In fact, he said, evidence from other studies suggests caffeine may even be linked to decreased rates of cardiovascular problems.

“I tell patients that it is very likely that for some people, caffeine is an important trigger" of irregular heartbeats, Marcus said. “I generally tell them that it’s fine for them to experiment and weigh the pros and cons of caffeine to see how it influences their quality of life. The majority of arrhythmias are not life threatening.”

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