The idea that drinking coffee increases your risk of developing irregular heartbeats has been discredited in a new study.

Researchers from the University of California San Francisco have found that people are three percent less likely to develop any forms of arrhythmia or heart complications after drinking one cup of coffee.

Lead academic Dr Gregory Marcus said: “Coffee is the primary source of caffeine for most people, and it has a reputation for causing or exacerbating arrhythmias.

“But we found no evidence that caffeine consumption leads to a greater risk of arrhythmias.”

He added: “Our population-based study provides reassurance that common prohibitions against caffeine to reduce arrhythmia risk are likely unwarranted.”

Healthcare professionals often advise patients to reduce their caffeine intake to prevent severe arrhythmia – however this guidance has not been backed up with evidence.

As part of the investigation, the team of researchers analysed 386,258 people to see whether a connection between moderate coffee consumption and a higher risk of arrhythmia was present by studying how genetic variations impact caffeine metabolism.

According to the findings, drinking coffee does not increase the risk of arrhythmias, with only four percent of the participants developing an arrhythmia.

Instead, it was revealed that consuming coffee can protect you from developing cardiac arrhythmia.

Dr Marcus said: “Only a randomised clinical trial can definitively demonstrate clear effects of coffee or caffeine consumption.

“But our study found no evidence that consuming caffeinated beverages increased the risk of arrhythmia.”

He added: “Coffee’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may play a role, and some properties of caffeine could be protective against some arrhythmias.”

The entire findings of the study are now available in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

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