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Drinking lots of coffee 'does NOT increase blood pressure'

Surprising: Dr Chen found people who chugged more than five cups of coffee a day were no more likely to have hypertension than those who drank very little

Good news for those of us who need a little caffeine to get through the daily grind – drinking several cups of coffee a day may not increase your blood pressure after all.

Some scientists have suggested coffee could cause high blood pressure, or hypertension, which has been linked to heart disease, strokes and shorter life expectancy.

But an extensive U.S. report has concluded that people who have several cups a day fare no worse than those who drink coffee less frequently.

Researchers pooled data from six studies, covering 170,000 people, which asked participants how much coffee they drank each day and then followed them for up to 33 years.

According to their analysis in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, about one in five developed high blood pressure – with the chance of diagnosis no different for people who said they drank more than five cups of a coffee a day compared with those who drank very little.

But one of the research team, Liwei Chen, from the Louisiana State University School of Public Health in New Orleans, said that the relationship between coffee-drinking and blood pressure is complicated by the possibility that it does not work the same way for everyone.

‘People with a different genetic background may react to coffee differently,’ she said.

‘For some people maybe it’s safe to drink a lot of coffee, but not for other people.’

Blood pressure expert Lawrence Krakoff, of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, said: ‘I don’t think of coffee as a risk factor for high blood pressure.

However, he stopped short of giving people free rein to guzzle gallons, adding: ‘If people are drinking 12 cups a day and are not sleeping, I assume that is an important issue.’

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