Caffeine does not increase risk of atrial fibrillation

At ESC, held in August-September in Amsterdam, researchers at the University of Lisbon and colleagues presented their poster demonstrating that caffeine exposure is not associated with increased atrial fibrillation (AF) risk. Further, low-dose caffeine may have a protective effect.

Heterogeneous results exist in the literature. Looking at PubMed, CENTRAL, ISI Web of Knowledge, and LILACS databases, they found seven observational studies evaluating 115,993 individuals: six cohorts and one case-control study. Following analysis of the results of those studies, the Portuguese researchers found that caffeine exposure was not associated with an increased risk of AF (odds ratio [OR] 0.92, 95% confidence level [CI], 0.82 to 1.04, I2=72%).

Pooled results from high-quality studies showed a 13% odds reduction in AF risk with lower heterogeneity (OR 0.87, 95% CI, 0.80 to 0.94, I2=39%).  Further, low-dose caffeine exposure showed an OR 0.85 (CI, 0.78 to 92, I2=0%) without significant differences in other dosage strata. And caffeine exposure based solely on coffee consumption also did not influence AF risk.