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Coffee Not as Bad as Cola for High Blood Pressure

Coffee Not as Bad as Cola for High Blood Pressure



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Dr. Kim Mulvihill ReportingThere's good medical news tonight for women who love to drink coffee, but bad news for another popular beverage. This new study looks at the link between caffeinated beverages and high blood pressure.

"I love coffee. Just the fact that it wakes you up in the morning. A little buzz."

"It's a hot drink in the morning, soothing, wakes you up."

But hold on, clinical studies in the past have warned drinking coffee can increase your risk of high blood pressure. And high blood pressure can increase your risk of a heart attack, a stroke, even chronic kidney disease. So is it best to not indulge? Well, new research shows all that bad talking about java might be jive.

Wolfgang C. Winkelmayer, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital: "Coffee drinking was not at all associated with a greater risk of high blood pressure. If anything, coffee drinking was associated with a preventive effect in that women who drank more coffee were less likely to have high blood pressure."

Boston researchers analyzed 12 years worth of data involving about 150-thousand women. They expected caffeinated coffee would increase the risk of high blood pressure. They were stunned it did not.

Dr. Winklemayer: "It was absolutely surprising to us that women who drank six or more cups of coffee a day, that even those women did not have an increased risk of high blood pressure."

But for women who drank caffeinated cola, the news is not so bubbly. Here researchers found a link between colas - diet and regular - and high blood pressure. In fact, younger women who drank about four cans a day saw their risk of high blood pressure go up 16% for diet cola, and 28% for regular. The risks for older women were even higher. Researchers don't know why.

"I really believe that more research is necessary to solidify these findings."

But even if habitual coffee drinking is not linked to high blood pressure, moderation is still the best medicine.

By the way, more than fifty million Americans suffer from high blood pressure. Many people are able to get it down by eating a healthy diet, keeping their weight down, and getting regular exercise. When that's not enough, medication may be needed.

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