Coffee drinking does not cause chronic high blood pressure

March 26, 2002 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Coffee drinking does not cause chronic high blood pressure

Drinking at least a cup of coffee a day may cause a short-term rise in blood pressure, but it is unlikely to lead to chronic hypertension, researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine report.

Previous research has found that drinking coffee can cause a slight increase in blood pressure, but researchers were unclear whether this effect would lead in the long run to persistent hypertension.

It appears that the body's cardiovascular system can adapt to coffee consumption. After 4 or 5 days of drinking coffee, the effect on heart rate and blood pressure seems to get smaller, the researchers reported, but it did not go totally away.

The researchers tracked the coffee consumption and blood pressures of more than 1,000 former medical students for over three decades to determine whether coffee had any long-term effects on blood pressure. The investigators found that those who drank a cup of coffee a day did experience a small increase in blood pressure.

However, after taking factors that raise blood pressure into account, such as cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, family history, body weight and exercise, they found that coffee drinking did not significantly contribute to the development of chronic high blood pressure.

However, previous research has found that abstaining from coffee can lower blood pressure among people with hypertension, so people with high blood pressure may be better off without a daily cup of coffee.

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