The findings of a recent studyshowed that women who drank 4 ormore cups of coffee a day faced aslightly lower risk for developing highblood pressure (BP) than those whodrank little or no coffee. At the sametime, however, women in the studywho drank colas were shown to havea greater risk of high BP than thosewho did not drink them. Whereas caffeineis present in both beverages andhas been shown to cause short-termincreases in BP, the women who drankcoffee seemed no more likely todevelop high BP during the 12-yearfollow-up period than women whoabstained.
The study included 155,594 women,average age 55 years. Approximately33,000 of these women were diagnosedwith high BP. Women who drank>3 cups of coffee a day were about 7%to 12% less likely to develop high BPthan women who drank little or no coffee.Women who drank >4 cans of sugaredcola daily, however, had a 28% to44% increase in high BP risk, comparedwith those who drank less. Diet sodasalso increased the risk, although slightlyless than the nondiet colas.