(HealthDay News) — Higher amounts of habitual coffee intake are associated with a reduced risk for arrhythmia, according to a study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Eun-jeong Kim, MD, from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study to examine the association between consumption of caffeinated products and risk for arrhythmias. Data were included for 386,258 individuals.

The researchers found that 16,979 participants developed an incident arrhythmia during a mean follow-up of 4.5 years. Each additional cup of habitual coffee consumed was associated with a reduced risk for incident arrhythmia after adjustment for demographics, comorbid conditions, and lifestyle habits (hazard ratio, 0.97). In analyses of each arrhythmia alone, statistically significant associations were seen for atrial fibrillation and/or flutter and supraventricular tachycardia (hazard ratios, 0.97 and 0.96, respectively). No evidence of effect modification was seen in 2 distinct interaction analyses: one using a caffeine metabolism-related polygenic score of 7 genetic polymorphisms and one restricted to CYP1A2 rs762551 alone. No significant association between underlying propensities to differing caffeine metabolism and risk for incident arrhythmia was seen in a Mendelian randomization study using these same genetic variants.

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“These data suggest that common prohibitions against caffeine to reduce arrhythmia risk are likely unwarranted,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical and technology industries.

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