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Coffee May Reduce the Risk of Heart Failure

Gerald Zanetti/FoodPix(BOSTON) -- Hey java drinkers: that coffee buzz you love so much may also help prevent heart failure, according to a new study published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation Heart Failure.

While many believe coffee drinking may be dangerous to the heart, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston said moderate consumption of your daily joe may be beneficial.

The scientists analyzed five prospective studies, which included more than 140,000 men and women that related to coffee consumption and heart risk. Four of the studies were based in Sweden, and one was conducted in Finland. They found that those who drank a moderate amount of coffee daily, defined as the equivalent of two 8-ounce American cups per day, may experience protective benefits against heart failure by as much as 11 percent.

The scientists didn't account for the strength of the coffee, but the drink tends to be made weaker in the U.S. than in Europe. They also didn't account for caffeinated versus decaffeinated coffee, though most people in Northern Europe consume a caffeinated form of the beverage.

Low levels of coffee consumption were not associated with a positive or negative effect on heart failure risk, but more than four to five cups of regular coffee consumption were associated with a higher risk.

More than half of American adults drink some form of coffee each day, according to the National Coffee Association. Caffeine is also the most frequently consumed stimulant in the world.

The American Heart Association currently recommends that heart failure patients drink no more than one to two cups of coffee or other caffeinated beverages per day.  

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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