Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Women Who Enjoy Daily Cup of Coffee May Reduce Stroke Risk

Women who drink a cup or more of coffee each day may reduce their risk of stroke by as much as 25 percent. Swedish researchers have discovered that not only could the consumption of at least one cup of coffee daily lower a woman’s stroke risk, but also found that women who don’t partake in a regular cup of java could actually be increasing their chances for stroke. The details of the study were recently published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

According to lead researcher Susanna Larsson, of the National Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, “Results from our study in women showed that consumption of 1 to 5 cups of coffee per day was associated with a 22 to 25 percent lower risk of stroke, compared with consumption of less than 1 cup a day.” Larsson also noted that small amounts of coffee may also provide some benefit in the reduction of stroke risk.

For their analysis the researchers monitored the health of 34,670 women ranging in age from 49 to 83 for an average of 10 years. All of the women were participants in the Swedish Mammography Cohort, a long-term investigation of the association between diet, lifestyle and disease development. During the period between 1998 and 2008, a total of 1,680 women suffered a stroke. However, the researchers found that those women who drank coffee were 22 percent to 25 percent less likely to have a stroke. The benefits seen were similar whether the women reported consuming 1-2 cups each day, 3-4 cups a day, or 5 or more cups daily in comparison to women who consumed less than a cup on a daily basis. Moreover, the benefits remained after accounting for weight, high blood pressure, diabetes, drinking, and smoking.

It must be noted that the women in the study were not asked to report whether or not they consumed decaffeinated coffee. However, Larsson pointed out that the majority of Swedes drink coffee containing caffeine.

The researchers hypothesize that the reduction in stroke risk may be linked to coffee consumption providing for a reduction in inflammation and oxidative stress, as well as improved insulin resistance, all of which could lower the risk for stroke. However, the research team acknowledged that the findings are preliminary and are not cause for change in current coffee consumption habits. In addition, according to one expert, because the study was restricted to a Scandinavian population, it may not be representative of more diverse populations.

But just last year, British researchers from the University of Cambridge discovered a link between consuming coffee on a regular basis and a decreased risk of stroke in a study following 23,000 men and women over an average of 12 years. The study showed that drinking any amount of coffee was associated with a 27 percent reduction in stroke risk. There is even some evidence that the consumption of moderate amounts of coffee or tea can lower the risk for developing heart disease.
Larsson pointed out “Some women have avoided consuming coffee because they have thought it is unhealthy. In fact, increasing evidence indicates that moderate coffee consumption may decrease the risk of some diseases such as diabetes, liver cancer, and possibly stroke.” In 2008, a study by Larsson of men who consumed coffee or tea yielded similar results.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer. By keeping your weight in check and getting a sufficient amount of exercise, you can decrease your chances for suffering a stroke, developing heart disease, and also ward off other illnesses and conditions.

Source: HealthNews By Drucilla Dyess

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