Latest report on coffee and the risk of stroke

Coffee consumption has been inconsistently associated with stroke incidence and mortality.

Researchers in Sweden and Finland investigated the association between coffee consumption and stroke incidence in women.

First, the details.

  • 34,670 women without a history of cardiovascular disease or cancer in 1997 were followed for about 10 years.
  • Coffee consumption was assessed in 1997 using a self-administered questionnaire.
  • Cases of stroke were ascertained from the Swedish Hospital Discharge Registry.

And, the results.

  • There were 1680 cases of stroke, including…
    • 1310 cerebral infarctions (dead or diseased areas of the brain)
    • 154 intracerebral hemorrhages (ruptured blood vessel bleeds into brain tissue)
    • 79 subarachnoid hemorrhages (bleeding in area surrounding the spinal cord)
    • 137 unspecified strokes
  • After adjusting for other risk factors, coffee consumption was associated with a statistically significant lower risk of all but intracerebral hemorrhage.
  • The relative risks of total stroke decreased significantly with more coffee consumption.
  • The association between coffee consumption and cerebral infarction was not modified by smoking status, body mass index, history of diabetes or hypertension, or alcohol consumption.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “These findings suggest that low or no coffee consumption is associated with an increased risk of stroke in women.”

In an earlier study in men, the same researchers reported that the risk of stroke in the highest category of coffee consumption (at least 8 cups/day) was significantly lower than drinking fewer than 2 cups/day.

However, researchers in the Netherlands reported no association between coffee and the risk of stoke.

3/11/11 21:12 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.