Green tea and coffee can lower risk of death for heart attack and stroke survivors

Photo (c) Frank Rothe - Getty Images

Experts say limiting sugar intake with these beverages yields the best health results

Several studies have highlighted how regularly drinking both coffee and green tea can impart several health benefits to consumers. 

Now, a new study conducted by researchers from the American Heart Association has found that both popular beverages can be particularly beneficial for survivors of heart attacks and strokes. The study revealed that green tea and coffee have both been linked with reducing the risk of death for those who have experienced either cardiac event. 

Maintaining cardiovascular health

For the study, the researchers evaluated data from more than 76,000 participants enrolled in the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study for Evaluation of Cancer Risk. Participants disclosed their history with cardiovascular issues, such as heart attack and stroke, and also reported on how frequently they consumed both green tea and coffee. 

The researchers learned that both drinks were beneficial to participants who had experienced a heart attack or stroke. Green tea was found to be more effective for stroke survivors, and coffee was effective for both groups and for those without a history of cardiovascular issues. The study showed that participants who drank at least one cup of coffee per day and hadn’t experienced either a heart attack or stroke had a 14 percent lower chance of early death. 

In looking at the benefits associated with green tea, the researchers found that drinking at least seven cups per day lowered the risk of death for stroke survivors by more than 60 percent. On the other hand, heart attack and stroke survivors who had at least one cup of coffee per day lowered their risk of death by more than 20 percent. 

Cut down on the sugar

Though these findings were positive, the researchers warn consumers that adding a ton of sugar to either of these drinks can compromise the health benefits. 

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

The researchers hope that these findings inspire future studies to explore similar themes. The time after a cardiovascular event can be difficult for many consumers, but patients can feel more confident, prepared, and healthy if they find ways to help their recovery. 

“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,” Dr. Iso said. 

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