Coffee consumption does not appear to increase the risk of arrhythmias, according to the findings of a cohort study recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

This large, prospective, population-based cohort study aimed to elucidate the association between coffee consumption and arrhythmia risk using data from the UK Biobank between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2018. A total of 386,258 individuals were assessed. The mean age of the individuals was 56 years old (SD, 8) and 52.3% were female. Coffee consumption information was obtained via participant questionnaires.

Over a mean follow-up of 4.5 years (SD, 3.1), 16,369 individuals developed an incident arrhythmia. After adjusting for demographics, comorbid conditions, and lifestyle habits, findings revealed that each additional cup of habitual coffee consumed reduced the risk of incident arrhythmia by 3% (hazard ratio [HR], 0.97; 95% CI, 0.96-0.98; P <.001).

When analyzing each arrhythmia alone, associations were found to be of a similar magnitude for atrial fibrillation and/or flutter (HR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.96-0.98; P <.001) and supraventricular tachycardia (HR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94-0.99; P =.002).

“Two distinct interaction analyses, one using a caffeine metabolism–related polygenic score of 7 genetic polymorphisms and another restricted to CYP1A2 rs762551 alone, did not reveal any evidence of effect modification,” the authors added. Additionally, no significant associations were observed between genetic polymorphisms affecting caffeine metabolism and incident arrhythmia risk based on mendelian randomization analyses.

In an accompanying editorial, Goldberger and Hayward wrote that “Overall, the results in the study by Kim and colleagues strengthen the evidence that caffeine is not proarrhythmic, but they should not be taken as proving that coffee is an antiarrhythmic; this distinction is of paramount importance. Health care professionals can reassure patients that there is no evidence that drinking coffee increases the risk for developing arrhythmias.”


  1. Kim E, Hoffmann TJ, Nah G, Vittinghoff E, Delling F, Marcus GM. Coffee consumption and incident tachyarrhythmias: Reported behavior, mendelian randomization, and their interactions. JAMA Intern Med. Published online July 19, 2021. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.3616
  2. Goldberger ZD, Hayward RA. Another cup of coffee without an arrhythmia, please. JAMA Intern Med. Published online July 19, 2021. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.4073