Sunday, April 17, 2011

Coffee and stroke risk in women

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Women who have coffee everyday reduce their risk of stroke by as much as 25 percent.

Coffee consumption has been inconsistently associated with stroke incidence and mortality in previous studies. To investigate the association between coffee consumption and stroke incidence, researchers studied 34,670 Swedish women, aged 49 to 83 years, who took part in the Swedish Mammography Cohort, which looked for associations between diet, lifestyle and disease. Between 1998 and 2008, 1,680 women had a stroke. But it was found that coffee drinkers had a 22 to 25 percent lowered risk.

Women who reported drinking 1-2 cups a day, 3-4 cups a day or 5 or more cups had similar benefits, compared with women who drank less than a cup of coffee. The results remained unchanged even after taking into account smoking, weight, diabetes, high blood pressure or drinking. Although the women in the study were not asked whether they drank decaffeinated coffee, most Swedes drink caffeinated coffee.

The researchers speculated that coffee might reduce inflammation, lower oxidative stress and improve insulin resistance, which in turn could lower the risk for stroke. However, the findings are preliminary and need further research.

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