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Coffee does not lead to Heart Palpitations, Study Says

Update Date: Jan 27, 2016 11:36 AM EST

Normal coffee consumption does not lead to extra heartbeats, a new study is reporting.

For this study, the researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) set out to see if drinking coffee can actually lead to heart palpitations. The team randomly selected 1,388 participants - with the average age of 72 - who were from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). None of the participants had a history of extra palpitations.

The researchers surveyed the participants about their coffee, tea and chocolate intake over a span of 12 months. They tracked their heartbeats via a 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiogram. 840 participants, or 61 percent, drank or ate more than one caffeinated item per day.

The team discovered that consumption levels for all three items did not affect the number of heartbeats per hour, which were measured via premature atrial contractions (PACs) or premature ventricular contractions (PVCs). The researchers noted that they did not examine the link between excessive consumption and heart palpitations.

"This was the first community-based sample to look at the impact of caffeine on extra heartbeats, as previous studies looked at people with known arrhythmias," lead author Shalini Dixit said reported by CBS Local. "Whether acute consumption of these caffeinated products affects extra heartbeats requires further study."

Senior author, UCSF Health cardiologist Gregory Marcus, MD, MAS, concluded reported by NBC News, "Clinical recommendations advising against the regular consumption of caffeinated products to prevent disturbances of the heart's cardiac rhythm should be reconsidered, as we may unnecessarily be discouraging consumption of items like chocolate, coffee and tea that might actually have cardiovascular benefits. Given our recent work demonstrating that extra heartbeats can be dangerous, this finding is especially relevant."

The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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