American Heart Association has good news for coffee lovers

The American Heart Association has published new research that gives coffee drinkers a good reason to keep enjoying the popular beverage. According to the study, which was recently published in Circulation: Heart Failure, drinking at least one cup of caffeinated coffee daily may result in a lower risk of suffering from heart failure.

The new research is an analysis of three existing studies: the Framington Heart and Cardiovascular Studies, as well as the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. The AHA researchers looked at participants' reports of coffee consumption and how it was associated with their long-term heart failure risk.

Overall, the three studies revealed that drinking at least one cup of coffee daily was linked with a drop in one's long-term heart failure risk. Looking at the individual studies, the Cardiovascular Health and Framingham Heart studies revealed that compared to not drinking coffee, those who drink the beverage had a 5- to 12-percent decrease in long-term heart failure risk per cup of coffee.

The Atherosclerosis Risk study, meanwhile, found that only one cup of coffee per day wasn't linked to a change in heart failure risk. However, drinking at least two cups of coffee daily was associated with around a 30-percent decrease.

It's important to note that these findings are based on consuming caffeinated coffee — and, surprisingly, it seems that drinking decaf may have the opposite effect. The new study reports that while the Cardiovascular Health study didn't find an increase or decrease in heart failure risk among those who consumed decaf coffee, the Framingham Heart study found a 'significant' increase in heart failure risk.

Ultimately, it seems that caffeine may play a beneficial role when it comes to heart failure risk, with the researchers noting that caffeine from any source — such as tea — was also associated with a drop in risk. The researchers note that at this time, there isn't enough 'clear evidence' to suggest someone should increase their coffee consumption to reduce their heart disease risk.