Coffee might reduce risk of stroke

As the snow falls Thursday, Ronnie Murphy sells umbrellas for a bargain price of $3 near the Market Street subway on 15th Street. (Sarah Schu / Staff Photographer)

Researchers from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain and Harvard University in Boston examined 24 years of health data on 83,076 women to assess the association between coffee drinking and the risk of stroke. The researchers used data from the large Nurses Health Study. The assessed women who did not have any history of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, or cancer at the start of the study.

The amount of coffee each nurse drank was determined in 1980 and their consumption was reexamined every two to four years through 2004. The women were categorized into five groups based on the amount of coffee they drank ranging from less than one cup a month to four or more cups a day.

The researchers said 2,280 of the women had strokes during the 24 years. After adjusting for various health conditions such as hypertension and high cholesterol levels as well as whether the study participants smoked, the researchers determined that the more coffee the women drank the lower their risk of stoke.

The researchers concluded that “long-term coffee consumption was not associated with an increased risk of stroke in women. In contrast our data suggest that coffee consumption may modestly reduce risk of stroke.”

The study was published online last month in the medical journal Circulation.