Coffee and Stroke

Over the years evidence has accumulated for many beneficial health effects of drinking coffee. Drinking coffee reduces the risk of type II diabetes. Drinking coffee also reduces the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. From helping with liver problems to improving athletic performance and even making sex better, a good cup of coffee is a great addition to our lives. Now investigations regarding coffee and stoke indicate that coffee is helpful in this arena as well.

Dementia and Stroke

According to the World Health Organization more than 55 million people suffer from dementia. It is the seventh leading cause of mortality across the globe. Dementia is a catch all for the generalized decline in mental function seen primarily in older people. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. In the USA stroke is the leading cause of death with more than 795,000 having strokes each year. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked or ruptures. This deprives brain tissue of blood supply and that tissue dies.

How are Dementia and Stroke Related?

The two share sixty percent of the same risk factors as well as factors that prevent each of them. Having a stroke greatly increases the risk of dementia and researchers estimate that if all strokes were prevented that the incidence of dementia would go down by a third. When looking at ways to prevent strokes researchers look at many factors including lifestyle and one lifestyle factor is drinking coffee or tea. Because so many people drink these beverages any effect they have will be widely felt.

Cup of Java
Two to Three Cups a Day Reduces Incidence
of Strokes and Dementia

Can Coffee Prevent a Stroke?

Previously it has been shown that people who drink coffee or tea have a reduced risk of dementia compared to those who do not drink these beverages but there was little evidence relating to stroke. Thus the researchers looked at consumption of coffee, tea, or both as factors relating to incidence of stroke. They looked at the U.K. Biobank which contains health data for half a million people in the United Kingdom. They selected 365,682 participants chosen between 2006 and 2010 and followed their medical records until 2020.

Enrollees in the study reported how much coffee and tea they drank each day and the researchers looked at how many enrollees had a stroke and/or developed dementia during the period of the study. Using statistical analysis tools they accounted for things that would confuse the study such as smoking, alcohol use, diabetes, and other conditions.

Coffee and Tea Drinking Reduce the Incidence of Both Dementia and Stroke

During the course of the study 5,079 people were diagnosed with dementia and 10,053 with at least one stroke. When researchers looked at levels of coffee and tea consumption with those studied, they found that the lowest risks of both dementia and stroke were found in those who drank two to three cups of coffee a day, three  to five cups of tea a day, or four to six cups of tea and coffee a day. The coffee and tea group (two to three cups of coffee or two to three cups of tea) were 32% less likely to have had a stroke and 28% less likely to have developed dementia.

Coffee and Stroke – Slideshare Version

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