Updated 16 May 2014

Coffee, hypertension linked

The likelihood of having to start drug treatment to control high blood pressure, or hypertension, seems to be increased among coffee drinkers.

The likelihood of having to start drug treatment to control high blood pressure, or hypertension, seems to be increased among coffee drinkers.

However, researchers also found no relationship between how much coffee one drinks and increased risk of hypertension, whether one drinks one or eight cups or more per day.

Although there have been previous studies, the association between coffee consumption and hypertension is still not clear, Dr Gang Hu, of the National Public Health Institute in Finland, and colleagues report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The researchers therefore followed 24 710 Finnish subjects between the ages of 25 and 64 years with no history of drug treatment for hypertension, coronary heart disease, or stroke. Self-administered questionnaires were used to assess daily coffee consumption.

The subjects were followed for an average of 13.2 years. During that time, a total of 2 505 individuals started antihypertensive drug treatment.

Two or three cups particularly bad

The risk of needing to start on antihypertensive drug treatment was higher in coffee drinkers than in the noncoffee drinkers, with the highest increased risk of 29%, being associated with drinking two to three cups daily. However, drinking more than eight cups per day only increased the risk by 14%.

"Even though the risk of hypertension associated with coffee consumption was relatively small, it may have some public health importance because coffee is the most consumed drink, other than water, and hypertension is a major health problem in the world," Hu and colleagues point out.

"On the other hand," they add, "coffee consumption seems to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the relation between coffee consumption and cardiovascular disease risk is complicated, and further studies are needed." - (Reuters Health)

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Read more:
Coffee, no hypertension risk
Coffee - not all bad news


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Dr Jacomien de Villiers qualified as a specialist physician at the University of Pretoria in 1995. She worked at various clinics at the Department of Internal Medicine, Steve Biko Hospital, these include General Internal Medicine, Hypertension, Diabetes and Cardiology. She has run a private practice since 2001, as well as a consultant post at the Endocrine Clinic of Steve Biko Hospital.

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