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Green tea and coffee may help lower stroke risk

Green tea and coffee may help lower your risk of having a stroke, especially when both are a regular part of your diet, according to research1 published recently in Stroke.

Researchers asked 83,269 Japanese adults about their green tea and coffee drinking habits, following them for an average 13 years. Participants in the study were 45 to 74 years old, almost evenly divided in gender, and were free from cancer and cardiovascular disease.

People who drank at least one cup of coffee daily had about a 20% lower risk of stroke compared to those who rarely drank it. People who drank two to three cups of green tea daily had a 14% lower risk of stroke and those who had at least four cups had a 20% lower risk, compared to those who rarely drank it.

People who drank at least one cup of coffee or two cups of green tea daily had a 32% lower risk of intracerebral haemorrhage, compared to those who rarely drank either beverage.

During the 13-years of follow-up, researchers reviewed participants’ hospital medical records and death certificates, collecting data about heart disease, strokes and causes of death. They adjusted their findings to account for age, sex and lifestyle factors like smoking, alcohol, weight, diet and exercise.

“This is the first large-scale study to examine the combined effects of both green tea and coffee on stroke risks,” said Dr Yoshihiro Kokubo, lead author of the study at Japan’s National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center. “You may make a small but positive lifestyle change to help lower the risk of stroke by adding daily green tea to your diet.”

Green tea drinkers in the study were more likely to exercise compared to non-drinkers. Initial study results showed that drinking more than two cups of coffee daily was linked to increasing coronary heart disease rates in age- and sex-adjusted analysis. But researchers didn’t find the association after factoring in the effects of cigarette smoking — underscoring smoking’s negative health impact on heart and stroke health.

A typical cup of coffee or tea in Japan was approximately six ounces. “However, our self-reported data may be reasonably accurate, because nationwide annual health screenings produced similar results, and our validation study showed relatively high validity,” Dr Kokubo said. “The regular action of drinking tea, coffee, largely benefits cardiovascular health because it partly keeps blood clots from forming.”

References

1. Kokubo Y, Iso H, Saito I, et al. The impact of green tea and coffee consumption on the reduced risk of stroke incidence in Japanese population: the Japan Public Health Center-Based Study Cohort. Stroke 2013;44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.677500

Published on: April 26, 2013

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  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
  • Stars
  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • Atrial Fibrillation Association
 

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