Caffeine Won’t Affect Heartbeats Or Rhythm: Coffee Doesn’t Cause Palpitations, Is Better For Health Than Previously Thought, Claims New Study

Coffee won’t affect your heartbeat. Those who have avoided caffeine fearing it causes palpitations need not worry, as drinking coffee doesn’t affect the rhythm of the heart, claims a new study. In fact, drinking a cup of joe in the morning could be good for cardiovascular health.

Coffee’s relatively high caffeine content has earned the drink a lot of loyal fans, although many people advocate against its consumption. One of the most common assumptions about the drink is that it causes heart palpitations or an increase in the heartbeat. Earlier studies have routinely stressed that caffeine consumption could cause interruption to regular cardiac rhythms.

However, a new study has found that drinking coffee regularly does not lead to extra heartbeats.

A new study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) indicates drinking caffeine could be good for your health. The study is claimed to be the largest ever to assess the relationship between dietary patterns and extra heartbeats, reported the Telegraph. To disprove the previous studies that linked caffeine consumption with irregular heartbeats, researchers measured the chronic consumption of caffeinated products over a 12-month period. Previous studies had largely restricted themselves to acute consumption only.

There are two broad categories of conditions that have been researched in the past. Both these conditions have had similar conclusions. Excessive premature atrial contractions (PACs) have been shown to result in atrial fibrillation, stroke, and death, reported News Max. Excessive premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) have been shown to result in increased heart failure, coronary artery disease, and death. Both of these heart conditions have been strongly linked to caffeine consumption through studies and trials. This has led to the commonly assumed notion that caffeine or its largest contributor, coffee, can lead to multiple heart-related diseases.

However, these studies were performed several decades ago and did not use PACs and PVCs as a primary outcome, reported the Economic Times. For the study, researchers analysed 1,388 randomly-selected participants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Cardiovascular Health Study database of nearly 6,000 patients. The study specifically excluded those who had consistent extra heartbeats or, in other words, were prone to palpitations. Participants were asked to complete a survey to judge their frequency of habitual coffee, tea, and chocolate consumption. They were given a baseline food frequency assessment and 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiography monitoring.

The results of the test were surprising. When analyzed, the results indicated more than 60 percent of the participants consumed more than one caffeinated product daily. However, the study found no differences in the number of PACs or PVCs per hour across levels of coffee, tea, and chocolate consumption. Essentially, increased or frequent consumption of the products that contained caffeine couldn’t be associated with extra heartbeats.

Speaking about the results, research lead Dr. Gregory Marcus said, “Clinical recommendations advising against the regular consumption of caffeinated products to prevent disturbances of the heart’s cardiac rhythm should be reconsidered, as we may unnecessarily be discouraging consumption of items like chocolate, coffee and tea that might actually have cardiovascular benefits. Given our recent work demonstrating that extra heartbeats can be dangerous, this finding is especially relevant.”

Coffee is the most commonly consumed beverage not just in the United States but across the world. It is undoubtedly the largest contributor of caffeine.

The report published in the Journal of the American Heart Association points out, “Regular coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and other cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity and depression. Furthermore, large observational studies have found that habitual coffee drinkers have lower rates of coronary artery disease and of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.”

Moderate coffee consumption has been linked to good health. With this study suggesting caffeine doesn’t cause irregular heartbeat, those who have been skeptical about drinking the brew could be a little less worried.

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]