Coffee drinking may reduce stroke risk in women

09:58, March 11, 2011      

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Women who have a cup or more of coffee everyday may reduce their risk of stroke by as much as 25 percent, according to a new study in the Journal Stroke Thursday.

This study, led by Swedish researcher Susanna Larsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, followed more than 34,000 Swedish women aged 49 to 83 who were free of heart disease.

After 10-year of follow-up, there were 1,680 strokes, and the study found that those who drank at least one cup of coffee each day had a 22 to 25 percent lowered risk of stroke, compared with women who drank less.

The study further suggested coffee can help prevent cognitive decline and can boost vision and heart health. It is also related to a reduced risk of liver cancer.

"We used to worry that (coffee) raises blood pressure and causes increased heart rate, but it appears to be less risky than we thought," said physician Claudette Brooks, spokesperson for the American Stroke Association.

Now, exactly what it is about coffee that may lower stroke risk is unknown. But the researchers speculated that coffee might reduce inflammation, lower oxidative stress and help make the body more responsive to insulin.

However, some experts kept skeptical about the real impact coffee would have on reducing the incidence of stroke.

"The problem with this type of study is that there are too many factors unaccounted for and association does not prove causality," Dr Larry B. Goldstein, director of the Duke Stroke Center at Duke University Medical Center said.

"Subjects were asked about their past coffee consumption in a questionnaire and then followed over time. There is no way to know if they changed their behavior," Goldstein added.

In any case, the good news for coffee junkies is that at least drinking coffee don't increase women's risk of stroke.

Source: Xinhua
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