11 Mar Health Buzz: Coffee Tied to Lower Stroke Risk
Study: Coffee Lowers Stroke Risk in Women
Good news, coffee lovers: Having a cup—or five—a day may slash your stroke risk, a new study suggests. Swedish researchers followed nearly 35,000 women ages 49 to 83 for 10 years, and found that those who drank at least one cup of joe per day had a 22 to 25 percent lower risk of stroke than those who drank less or none at all. The benefit was seen regardless of whether the women downed one cup or more than five daily, according to the study published Thursday in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. Although the women didn’t specify if their brew was regular or decaffeinated, very few people drink decaf in Sweden, the researchers said. Exactly why coffee may protect against stroke is unclear, but the researchers speculate that it reduces inflammation and improves insulin resistance—both risk factors for stroke. Coffee is also packed with antioxidants, which are known to benefit health. “Coffee drinkers should rejoice,” Sharonne Hayes, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, told the Associated Press. “There really hasn’t been any study that convincingly said coffee is bad. If you are drinking coffee now, you may be doing some good and you are likely not doing harm.” Still, there’s no reason to develop a coffee habit based on the results. The study doesn’t prove cause and effect, and the authors say more research is needed to understand the health effects of coffee consumption.