Coffee isn't as risky to heart health as some studies claim

Coffee may not be as risky to heart health as past research has indicated, a new study has found. The research comes from Queen Mary University, where researchers looked at daily coffee consumption — in some cases, as many as 25 cups per day — and came to a reassuring conclusion, at least in regards to arterial stiffness. The study involved more than 8,000 adults.

Select past studies have found a possible link between drinking coffee and developing stiffer arteries, which increases risk of having a stroke or heart attack. The research is part of a larger body of studies that have analyzed various aspects of the wildly popular beverage which, for many people, is part of a daily ritual.

The studies linking arterial stiffness and coffee consumption may have been skewed by lower participant numbers, according to the new study. The researchers accounted for factors that could potentially influence arterial stiffness, including smoking, alcohol consumption, and other known risk factors.

The study's participants consumed an average of 5 cups of coffee per day — in the lower end of the spectrum, participants drank less than one cup per day, and on the other end participants drank up to 25 per day. Despite this, the study didn't find a link to stiffer arteries, indicating that past studies may have gotten it wrong.

The researchers note that participants who fell into the 'moderate' and 'heavy' consumption categories were more likely to be male, and the participants were also more likely to drink alcohol on a regular basis and to smoke cigarettes.