A cup of coffee a day keeps heart disease away

GETTYThe risk of heat failure is reduced by seven per cent

"Eating a diet mostly of dark green leafy plants, fruits, beans, whole grains and fish, while limiting processed meats, saturated fats, trans fats, refined carbohydrates and foods high in added sugars is a heart-healthy lifestyle and may specifically help prevent heart failure if you don't already have it", said study first author Dr. Kyla Lara.

"More research is needed before we can confidently say how coffee consumption may impact our heart health".

Researchers followed more than 15,000 people and found those who drank one to six cups of a coffee a day were five to eight percent less likely to suffer from heart failure, stroke or coronary disease.

Findings from both studies were presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions meeting in Anaheim, California.

It is unclear why coffee would cut the risk of heart failure, says Stevens. The current risk-assessment tools used to predict whether someone might develop heart disease are very good, the authors noted in their presentation, but they're not 100% accurate, suggesting that more risk factors could still be identified.

The findings are supported by two other studies published earlier this year that found that coffee-drinking seems to significantly reduce the chance of dying from heart disease. Subjects who consumed an eight-ounce cup every day lowered their risk of each by 8 percent, 7 percent, and 5 percent, respectively.

Researchers University of Colorado came to their conclusion after analysing two other traditional studies to gain an understanding of the trends. Further investigation to better determine how red meat consumption affects risk for heart failure and stroke is ongoing. That being said, it is now hard to verify these results because the definition of what constitutes "red meat" differs between studies. They were looking for previously unidentified risk factors for heart failure and stroke. To do this, they relied on known risk factors obtained using the Framingham Risk Score, to which they also added the newly revealed correlation between coffee consumption and cardiovascular health.

The researchers utilized data from a a nationwide observational study of stroke risk factors in people aged above 45, called "Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke" (REGARDS). They hope that machine learning methods will be effective in uncovering hitherto unknown culprits.

Machine learning, works by finding associations within data, much in the same way that online shopping sites predict products you may like based on your shopping history, and is one type of big data analysis.

"Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, cutting down on salt, and maintaining a healthy weight are all important parts of a balanced diet that helps lower the risk of heart disease and stroke", Taylor recommends.

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