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Cardiovascular health

Influence of coffee and caffeine consumption on atrial fibrilation in hypertensive patients

A V Mattioli et al, (2011)
Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Disease, Volume 21
June 1, 2011

Background and aims:

Coffee and caffeine are widely consumed in Western countries. Little information is available on the influence of coffee and caffeine consumption on atrial fibrillation (AF) in hypertensive patients. We sought to investigate the relationship between coffee consumption and atrial fibrillation with regard to spontaneous conversion of arrhythmia.

Methods and results:

A group of 600 patients presenting with a first known episode of AF was investigated, and we identified 247 hypertensive patients. The prevalence of nutritional parameters was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire. Coffee and caffeine intake were specifically estimated. Left ventricular hypertrophy was evaluated by electrocardiogram (ECG) and echocardiogram. Coffee consumption was higher in normotensive patients. High coffee consumers were more frequent in normotensive patients compared with hypertensive patients. On the other hand, the intake of caffeine was similar in hypertensive and normotensive patients, owing to a higher intake in hypertensive patients from sources other than coffee. Within normotensive patients, we report that non-habitual and low coffee consumers showed the highest probability of spontaneous conversion (OR 1.93 95%CI 0.88e3.23; pZ0.001), whereas, within hypertensive patients, moderate but not high coffee consumers had the lowest probability of spontaneous conversion (OR 1.13 95%CI 0.67e1.99; pZ0.05).


Coffee and caffeine consumption influence spontaneous conversion of atrial fibrillation. Normotensive non-habitual coffee consumers are more likely to convert arrhythmia within 48 h from the onset of symptoms. Hypertensive patients showed a U-shaped relationship between coffee consumption and spontaneous conversion of AF, moderate coffee consumers were less likely to show spontaneous conversion of arrhythmia. Patients with left ventricular hypertrophy showed a reduced rate of spontaneous conversion of arrhythmia.

ª 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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