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Wednesday
May182011

Coffee and Stroke Risk

If you’re female and can't start the day without a jolt of java, take heart, you may be lowering your risk of stroke. That’s what Swedish researchers found after following almost 35,000 women ages 49 to 83, for about 10 years. At the outset, they asked the women how much coffee they drank and then followed up over the years by checking hospital records to see how many of the women had strokes. After adjusting for such risk factors as smoking, weight, high blood pressure and diabetes, the investigators observed a 22 to 25 percent lower risk of stroke in the coffee drinkers compared to the women who drank less than a cup per day or none at all. While this doesn't prove that coffee itself lowers the risk of stroke, the Swedish researchers suggested that the antioxidants in coffee might be responsible for the lower stroke risk they found, or that coffee could be protective by reducing inflammation and improving insulin sensitivity. They added that more research remains to be done before advising women to change their coffee-drinking habits. The study was published online on March 10, 2011, by the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

If you do drink coffee, be sure to stay well hydrated, as it is a diuretic.

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Reader Comments (9)

It would be nice to see some research in this area for men.

May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph Doughty DC

If you do have a stroke, think you are at risk or want protection against free radical damage resulting from cerebral hypoxia the medication Hydergine is used in Europe as protection for this and to help people recover from stroke.

My mother had two strokes and numerous TIAs .... was unable to speak, was very confused, unable to process others speech well or organize her own thoughts. Making things much worse was her stress over losing her normal functioning, losing capability to communicate. I gave her hydergine and all her symptoms disappeared completely on about 6mg, 9 to 14mg is a common daily dose to help our elder folk maintain good functioning, mood and self care skills. People respond highly idiosyncratically so titrate dose to the best response, too much can bring agitation. Her cognitive condition improved dramatically to better than before her first stroke. Ive never saw her in a better mood.

She may have suffered low level hypoxia for a long time. Of course if oxygen is completely cut off this will not work magic, but is makes all the difference for some people.

May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Freeman MD

Is this true for decaff coffee too?

May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDee

It is really difficult to understand tea and coffee are good or bad. Few days back I read in a reputed health blog that coffee is the commonest cause of aneurysm rupture.
Confusing indeed.

May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHealth Blog

These types of epidemiological studies should not be allowed to be posted for a layman to read. They need to be taken with a grain of salt, and but your everyday Joe will assume that it is fact. This is the problem with healthcare today too many assumptions.

May 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

Makes me feel a lot better about my coffee addiction! I would be interested to know: does this apply to espresso as well? or only drip?

May 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChiropractor

I'm curious if the same is true for health-food store cocoa that I get. RealAge is saying there are many benefits to drinking that as well.
It's interesting that one of our 'vices' turns out to be good for us!
So we were right, to want that habit.
Makes sense.
Our body is asking us to do it, it's for a reason.
I think the same is true for carbs (cake, cookies etc)
Oz doesn't like, but I've read, women have lower serontonin than men.
This is for emotional regulation.
If it helps me feel better...
I think the stress (and cravings) are unhealthier!

May 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCindy Grimes

Great in the fact that it lowers stroke potential, but the other risk factor associated with the acid in coffee as well as the caffeine that pulls Mg and Ca out of your bones....fair trade? We see a lot of decreased bone density in our patients (who are young 30-40's) and almost all of them (not all) have decreased bone density if not beginning stages of osteopenia. Not to say that it's JUST caffeine, but a strong contributor....maybe.

May 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGomach

I am very confused. Coffee is very acidic and for those who have arthritis, they are encouraged to stay away from it. But now I read that antioxidants in coffee might be responsible for the lower stroke risk and that coffee could be protective by reducing inflammation?

May 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia
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