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Coffee v. Strokes: Coffee Wins

February 22nd, 2009. By Dave Oei. 5,214 views.
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Does coffee help prevent strokes?  Photo courtesy of Starbucks.com.

Does coffee help prevent strokes? Photo courtesy of Starbucks.com.

Doctor David Liebeskind of UCLA et al. announced late last week at the International Stroke Conference an interesting finding with regard to the relationship between coffee consumption and…wait for it…strokes.

While previous publications have touted the seemingly beneficial effects of coffee drinking, how it relates to strokes was not established.

But after looking at daily coffee intake amongst a sample of over 30,000 individuals (of which, over 9,000 were coffee drinkers), they found lower incidences of strokes in those who drank more coffee.  In other words, those who imbibed at least 6 cups a day had fewer strokes than those who drank 3-5, who had fewer than those who drank 1-2, who had fewer than those who didn’t drink any.

If that wasn’t enough, the incidence of cardiac disease, diabetes, and hypertension was also lower for those who drank more coffee.

Right about now you might be asking why this is. Is coffee good for you? Should I drink more? The simple answer is, nobody knows.

Which implies that despite these findings, caution is in order.  The results represent correlations, not necessarily cause and effect.  The authors state that the mechanism behind these “benefits” is as yet unknown and more research is required.

For example, it is possible that those who drink a lot of coffee have greater wealth and thus better access to health care than those who drink less.  After all, last I checked 6 cafe mochas at Starbucks can easily set you back $20 a day. Which is about the cost of a very good PPO with a very good health insurance company here in California.

Source: International Stroke Conference Oral and Poster Presentations

Biology, Medicine

  1. Frank
    February 23rd, 2009 at 13:58 | #1

    6 Mochas at my Starbucks costs $23.50.

  2. February 23rd, 2009 at 15:35 | #2

    6 Mochas at my Starbucks costs $23.50.
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

  3. j
    February 26th, 2009 at 17:10 | #3

    I think that anyone who can even come close to imbibing 6+ cups of coffee a day on a regular basis is superhuman to start with and thus immune to strokes. So you could use the coffee drinking as a screen for superhuman-ness, a la the movie “Unbreakable”.

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