The findings of a recent study showed that women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee a day faced a slightly lower risk for developing high blood pressure (BP) than those who drank little or no coffee. At the same time, however, women in the study who drank colas were shown to have a greater risk of high BP than those who did not drink them. Whereas caffeine is present in both beverages and has been shown to cause short-term increases in BP, the women who drank coffee seemed no more likely to develop high BP during the 12-year follow-up period than women who abstained.
The study included 155,594 women, average age 55 years. Approximately 33,000 of these women were diagnosed with high BP. Women who drank >3 cups of coffee a day were about 7% to 12% less likely to develop high BP than women who drank little or no coffee. Women who drank >4 cans of sugared cola daily, however, had a 28% to 44% increase in high BP risk, compared with those who drank less. Diet sodas also increased the risk, although slightly less than the nondiet colas.