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Can people with an irregular heartbeat drink coffee?

By Michael Precker, American Heart Association News

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[Dr. José Joglar] was the lead author of new guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association on diagnosing and treating atrial fibrillation, or AFib, published recently in Circulation.

The corrected version of the guidelines are available at https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000001193 .

[As we frequently, do, we invite readers to review the Author Relationship data within this, and many other, studies of this type].

As far as caffeine goes, the Guidelines state that “ studies have generally found that caffeine consumed in usual amounts is either associated with no heightened risk or a reduced risk of incident .” Further, “consumption have not shown either a harmful or protective effect.” But that “Several case reports have described a relationship between excessive consumption of caffeine (involving overdoses or highly caffeinated energy drinks) and AF in young, healthy individuals. Individuals should not begin or increase their caffeine consumption with the intent of reducing their AF risk.

They then caution that:

Patients often report that caffeine triggers their AF, although this has neither been supported by nor extensively studied in an objective manner. Current studies cannot exclude the possibility of individual-level idiosyncratic relationships between caffeine and AF. It is also possible that caffeine exacerbates symptoms of AF, or causes similar symptoms of palpitations, or enhances heart rhythm awareness.

Footnotes for all of the above omitted.

BUT please note a study that was just released this past week in the same publication.

Link to study:


Link to press release:


This study suggests that adults who reported drinking large amounts of sugar- or artificially sweetened - drinks had a higher risk of atrial fibrillation when compared with adults who drank fewer such beverages. And also found that drinking moderate amounts of pure, unsweetened juice, such as orange or vegetable juice, was associated with a lower risk of AF.

The study could not confirm whether sweetened drinks caused AF, yet an association remained after the researchers accounted for a person’s genetic susceptibility to the condition.

One of the authors said that, based on their findings, “we recommend that people reduce or even avoid artificially sweetened and sugar-sweetened beverages whenever possible. Do not take it for granted that drinking low-sugar and low-calorie artificially sweetened beverages is healthy, it may pose potential health risks.” And that their “novel findings on the relationships among atrial fibrillation risk and sugar- and artificially sweetened beverages and pure juice may prompt the development of new prevention strategies by considering decreasing sweetened drinks to help improve heart health.”

It remains to be seen whether – and how – this study is incorporated into the next set of Guidelines. But note the statement by a reviewing expert, emeritus professor Penny M. Kris-Etherton, who said that “This is the first study to report an association between no- and low-calorie sweeteners and also sugar-sweetened beverages and increased risk of atrial fibrillation. While there is robust evidence about the adverse effects of sugar-sweetened beverages and cardiovascular disease risk, there is less evidence about adverse health consequences of artificial sweeteners. We still need more research on these beverages to confirm these findings and to fully understand all the health consequences on heart disease and other health conditions."

Both studies sound like screening opportunities for practitioners to incorporate within their practices.

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Thank ghosh!

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We used to drink coffee throughout the day, but now we only have it for breakfast.

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I have an irregular heartbeat and I drink coffee all the ti

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You can drink date seed coffee instead:)

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