Good News For Women Who Love Coffee

Drinking Coffee Good For Women When It Comes To Stroke

Like many people, I love coffee, so it was nice to see this article on the "coffee consumption of women" published online before print in the February 16 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Dr Esther Lopez-Garcia and colleagues analyzed data from a prospective group of 83 076 women in the Nurses' Health Study. At the beginning of the study none of the women had any history of stroke, coronary heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. The researchers first assessed coffee consumption in 1980 and then followed up every 2 to 4 years through 2004.

With more than 20 years of data, the researchers found that long term consumption of coffee was not linked to higher risk of stroke. Instead they found it was linked to a modest reduction of stroke risk among women. Drinking three cups of coffee a day reduced the risk by nearly 20 per cent compared to drinking less than one cup of coffee a month.

The study documented the number and types of strokes that occurred in these women during the years 1980 – 2004. A total of 2280 strokes occurred (426 were hemorrhagic, 1224 were ischemic, and 630 were undetermined).


The relative risks of stroke decreased as the amount of coffee consumed went up. The relative risk of stroke in a woman who drank less than one cup per month was noted to be 0.98 compared to a relative risk of 0.81 for a woman who drank 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day.

The noted protection held even in women with high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, type 2 diabetes, and smokers. Other drinks containing caffeine such as tea and caffeinated soft drinks were not associated with stroke.

The authors concluded that long-term consumption of coffee will not increase the risk of stroke in women, but may modestly reduce that risk. Good news for those of us who love coffee.

For more information on Strokes:
National Stroke Association

Coffee Consumption and Risk of Stroke in Women;
Esther Lopez-Garcia, Fernando Rodriguez-Artalejo, Kathryn M. Rexrode, Giancarlo Logroscino, Frank B. Hu, and Rob M. van Dam.; Circulation published online before print February 16, 2009. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.826164