Black coffee may be good for the heart, study finds

It’s another home run for coffee consumption — as long as it’s black and caffeinated, that is.

Drinking one or more cups of plain, leaded coffee a day was associated with a long-term reduced risk of heart failure, according to a review of diet data from three major studies using analytic tools from the American Heart Association.

The benefit did not extend to decaffeinated coffee. Instead, the analysis found an association between decaf coffee and an increased risk for heart failure.

Heart failure occurs when a weakened heart fails to supply the body’s cells with enough blood to get the oxygen needed to keep the body functioning properly. People with heart failure suffer fatigue and shortness of breath and have trouble walking, climbing stairs or other daily activities.

The study, published Tuesday in the AHA journal Circulation: Heart Failure, analysed self-reported dietary information from the original Framingham Heart Study. That study, which began in 1948, enrolled over 5,000 people with no diagnosed heart disease who lived in Framingham, Massachusetts. The study has followed those people and their offspring for 72 years over three generations.