A new study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress showed coffee drinking, specifically three or more cups of espresso daily, increases cardiovascular events, mainly heart attacks, in young adults ages 18 to 45. The 12-year Italian study began in Italy in 1990 and recruited 1,200 non-diabetic patients with stage one hypertension.
The patients were divided into three groups according to their caffeinated coffee intake: 316 (26 percent) were designated as abstainers because they did not drink coffee; 767 (64 percent) drank one to two cups a day and were categorized as moderate drinkers; and 119 (10 percent) drank three or more cups of coffee a day and were defined as heavy drinkers.
The researchers found coffee consumption was a significant predictor for developing hypertension that required antihypertensive therapy compared to abstainers. The difference was significant only for heavy coffee consumption. In addition, heavy coffee consumption was a predictor of future prediabetes. The incidence of prediabetes was highest in the heavy coffee drinkers and significantly predicted the risk of developing prediabetes compared to abstainers.
“Drinking coffee increases the risk of prediabetes in young adults with hypertension who are slow caffeine metabolizers," said Dr Lucio Mos, a cardiologist at Hospital of San Daniele del Friuli in Udine, Italy. “Slow caffeine metabolizers have longer exposure to the detrimental effects of caffeine on glucose metabolism. The risk is even greater if they are overweight or obese, and if they are heavy coffee drinkers. Thus, the effect of coffee on prediabetes depends on the amount of daily coffee intake and genetic background."
There was a significant linear relationship found after multivariate adjustment between coffee intake and cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, with the risk increasing with higher coffee intake. Even moderate coffee intake, defined as one to three cups per day, could up the risk of a cardiovascular event when compared to that of non-coffee drinkers.