New research indicates that stroke and heart attack survivors can reduce multiple causes of death and prevent further cardiovascular events by drinking green tea, according to the journal Stroke.

In addition, the study found that daily coffee consumption helps heart attack survivors by lowering their risk of death after a heart attack and can help prevent heart attacks or strokes in healthy individuals.

Previous studies have examined the benefits of green tea and coffee on heart health in people without a history of cardiovascular disease or cancer. The researchers’ objective was to determine the effects of green tea and coffee consumption after surviving a stroke or heart attack.

“There is a strong need for scientific evidence on the lifestyles among survivors of stroke and heart attack considering the rapidly aging population and the need to improve life expectancy following these cardiovascular events,” said study corresponding author Hiroyasu Iso, MD, a professor of public health at Osaka University in Suita, Japan, in a press release.

The researchers analyzed data from more than 46,000 participants, between 40 and 79 years of age, from the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study for Evaluation of Cancer Risk study, which was conducted in 45 communities across Japan. The participants were asked to complete self-administered questionnaires that included information about demographics, lifestyle, medical history, and diet.

The participants were then divided into 3 groups: history of stroke, history of myocardial infarction (MI), and no history of stroke or MI. With this, researchers analyzed the amount and frequency of green tea and coffee consumption. A typical cup of green tea contains approximately 100 mL of liquid and a typical cup of coffee contains approximately 150 mL of liquid, according to the study authors.

The results found that when compared with participants who rarely drank green tea, stroke survivors who consumed at least 7 cups of green tea daily lowered their risk of all-cause mortality by approximately 62%. However, the researchers did not observe a statistically significant association among participants without a history of stroke or heart attack.

Further, heart attack survivors who drank 1 cup of coffee a day reduced their overall risk of death by approximately 22% when compared to those who did not regularly drink coffee. People without a history of stroke or heart attack who consumed 1 or more cups of coffee a week had an approximately 14% lower risk of all-cause mortality compared to non-coffee drinkers. Overall, green tea consumption can prevent further cardiovascular events in survivors, whereas drinking coffee can prevent such events in healthy individuals, according to the study authors.

“An important distinction to make is that in Japanese culture, green tea is generally prepared with water and without sugar. Additionally, coffee is prepared with water and occasionally milk and sugar,” Iso said in a press release. “The healthiest way to prepare these beverages is without an unnecessary amount of added sugars.”

The researchers note that the study was observational, and the reason why drinking green tea and coffee lowered the risk of heart attack and stroke cannot be determined. Further research is recommended to understand the details regarding the different effects of green tea and coffee.

REFERENCE
Drinking green tea, coffee lowers risk of death for stroke and heart attack survivors. American Heart Association. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/drinking-green-tea-coffee-lowers-risk-of-death-for-stroke-and-heart-attack-survivors. Published February 4, 2021. Accessed February 4, 2021.