Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and involves the two upper chambers (atria) of the heart. People with atrial fibrillation usually have a significantly increased risk of stroke.
To date, research has not demonstrated an association between coffee consumption and risk of atrial fibrillation, although some studies have suggested that coffee consumption may have a protective effect4,20,21:
- A 2021 meta-analysis concluded that caffeine consumption is unlikely to be related to the incidence or the risk of developing new onset atrial fibrillation, and may offer a protective effect. They also suggested that to date any mechanisms for protective or causative effects of caffeine remain speculative20.
- Two further studies used UK Biobank data. The first concluded that a U-shaped relationship was observed between coffee intake and incidents of arrhythmia, suggesting that the lowest risk was observed at 2-3 cups per day4. The second systematic review focused on dose response which suggested that a 1 cup per day increase in coffee consumption was associated with a 2% reduced risk of atrial fibrillation21.