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 FAQs Newly Diagnosed with A-Fib: Caffeine

11. “Is drinking coffee (tea, colas, other products with caffeine) going to make my A-Fib worse or trigger an A-Fib attack?”

I used to include coffee as a trigger of A-Fib. But a recent research study suggests the opposite, that coffee and caffeine in moderate to heavy doses (2-3 cups to 10 cups/day) may not trigger or induce A-Fib.

The researchers who discovered the antiarrhythmic effects of coffee (caffeine) were somewhat surprised at their findings. They had expected to find the opposite results. Caffeine is a stimulant. It makes its consumers awake and alert, and it improves performance.

Coffee (caffeine) is commonly associated with disruption of cardiac rhythm. But does research confirm this belief? Most cardiac patients tolerate normal amounts of caffeine without difficulty

The Danish “Diet, Cancer, and Health Study” which followed 50,000 middle-aged people for around six years, found that caffeine does not increase the risk for developing A-Fib. The daily consumption of caffeine from coffee, tea, cola, cocoa, and chocolate was quite high, as is usual in Scandinavia where people drink 2-10 cups of coffee per day. But researchers are currently unable to identify the mechanism(s) behind coffee’s potential antiarrhythmic effect.

The important question is, how does coffee (caffeine) affect you personally?

If you drink a cup of coffee and then have an A-Fib attack, you may have to stop drinking coffee. But for others, a blanket prohibition against drinking coffee probably isn’t justified by current research. In fact, coffee (caffeine) may have antiarrhythmic effects.

Advice from contributor ‘Allan’, cured of Persistent A-Fib after two ablations at Bordeaux, writes:

“I tried many different things both mainstream and alternative to get relief from A-Fib. I also observed and noted triggers with a great deal of intensity, so I feel compelled to comment on the latest post regarding the positive effects of Coffee/Caffeine. I never had anything other than bad effects from coffee on my A-Fib. Coffee/caffeine was a significant trigger for me…even in very small doses. So I guess my story underscores the complexity of triggers/suppressants across the general population. I do hope people reading that report don’t go out and dose up on coffee. We all know that coffee will make our hearts go faster, which is probably not good.”

Thanks to contributor Karl for calling our attention to these articles.

Last updated: Thursday, December 8, 2016

Go back to FAQ for the Newly Diagnosed A-Fib Patient

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