Coffee is a popular beverage that many people enjoy on a daily basis. It has been associated with a number of potential benefits, such as improved mental alertness and a reduced risk of certain diseases.
However, new research has found that coffee may pose a health risk for people with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.
What is Hypertension?
Hypertension is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently high blood pressure. Your blood vessels and the tissues they connect to are quite fragile and delicate, so excessively forceful pulses of blood can cause serious damage.
This can put a strain on the heart and increase the risk of serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease.
It is important to manage hypertension effectively to reduce the risk of these complications.
How Does Coffee Affect Blood Pressure?
Coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant that can increase heart rate and blood pressure. In many people, caffeine can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure, especially if you already have other preconditions and risk factors related to hypertension.
However, the effect of caffeine on blood pressure can vary from person to person. Some people may be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine, while others may be less affected.
Additionally, the source of the caffeine can also affect how strongly it modifies blood pressure. For example, tea is not generally associated with the same spikes in blood pressure that are seen with coffee, soda, and other caffeinated beverages.
Coffee May Double Your Risk of Dying From Cardiovascular Diseases
Previous research from the past few years showed that moderate amounts of coffee (one cup per day) could potentially help reduce the risks associated with heart disease and other chronic illnesses. This is likely related to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of coffee.
In December 2022, a new study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The researchers found that heavy coffee consumption may double the risk of dying from heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular diseases.
This effect was only found for individuals who already had significantly high blood pressure (above 160 / 100). People with normal blood pressure or grade 1 hypertension (140-159 / 90-99) did not appear to be affected the same way.
They also observed no increased mortality risk associated with tea consumption.
What Should You Do?
If you haven’t had your blood pressure checked recently, make an appointment with your doctor.
If you do have high blood pressure, it’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations for managing the condition. This may include making lifestyle changes such as eating a healthier diet, getting regular exercise, and reducing stress.
Managing your condition may also involve reducing your coffee consumption or switching to decaf or hot tea.