"There is significant public and professional interest in the role that caffeinated beverages - coffee, tea and energy drinks - have on cardiovascular health but the widely held belief that moderate intake can exacerbate arrhythmias is not supported by the medical literature", Prof Kistler said.
These studies have consistently shown a decrease in AFib with an increase in caffeine ingestion, with one meta-analysis of 228,465 participants showing AFib frequency decreasing by 6% in regular coffee drinkers, and a further analysis of 115,993 patients showing a 13% risk reduction.
MONDAY, April 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) - Caffeine can send the heart racing, but for some people coffee may help prevent abnormal heartbeats, Australian researchers report.
The effects of caffeine may differ from person to person, so the researchers note that people who are susceptible to caffeine should continue to avoid it. A further analysis of almost 116,000 patients found a 13 percent risk reduction. The levels of caffeine, guarana, sugar, and ginseng can cause harmful side effects, including abnormal heart rhythms.
According to the researchers, caffeine acts as a stimulant of the nervous system and blocks the action of adenosine, which contributes to atrial fibrillation. In fact, about 25 percent of patients said that coffee triggered episodes of atrial fibrillation, the researchers found.
The links between caffeine and an increased risk of heart disease are not well defined, and there is a great deal of conflicting research on how exactly caffeine affects heart problems like arrhythmias.
Having said that, Lee cautioned that a lot is still not known about the effect of caffeine on the heart.
The study, published in the journal JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology, sheds light on how caffeine influences cardiac rhythm.