(HealthDay News) – Habitual consumption of moderate quantities of coffee, up to four cups per day, correlates with a moderately decreased risk of heart failure, but higher consumption potentially increases the risk.

Elizabeth Mostofsky, ScD, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies that examined the association between habitual coffee consumption and the risk of heart failure. Five independent studies involving 140,220 participants and 6,522 heart failure events were included.

The researchers observed a significant J-shaped association between coffee consumption and the risk of heart failure. The strongest inverse correlation was seen for four servings per day, compared with no consumption. At higher levels of consumption there was a potentially higher risk noted. The association was not affected by gender or baseline history of myocardial infarction or diabetes.

“The results of this meta-analysis indicate that there is a J-shaped relationship between coffee consumption and heart failure incidence with a modest inverse association with moderate consumption,” the authors write. “In light of these findings, the current heart failure prevention guidelines suggesting that coffee poses harmful effects may warrant revision to reflect the research showing that coffee may in fact provide moderate protection against heart failure incidence.”

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