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Drinking Coffee or Tea May Lower Risk of Stroke

Posted: February 23, 2009

Clients stopping into the spa often take a few minutes to enjoy a relaxing hot beverage, and a new study suggests that cup of tea or coffee may help them prevent strokes.

Here's some good news for java junkies and tea lovers alike: Two new studies suggest that both beverages may lower your stroke risk.

As coffee drinking increases, the prevalence of stroke decreases, said Dr. David Liebeskind, author of the coffee study and an associate clinical professor of neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He evaluated the association between coffee drinking and stroke by looking at data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, taken in 1988-94. He zeroed in on the 9,384 adults older than 40 who were coffee drinkers. Of those, 500 (5%) had been told by their doctor that they'd had a stroke. And 2,793 (29.85) had self-reported stroke symptoms or a mini-stroke, also known as a transient ischemic attack.

When he looked at stroke prevalence and coffee drinking, Liebeskind found that the more coffee the adults drank, the less likely they were to have a stroke or a mini-stroke. Those who drank six or more cups a day, he found, had a stroke prevalence of 2.9%, whereas those who drank just one or two cups daily had a stroke prevalence of 5%. The finding was presented Thursday at the International Stroke Conference in San Diego.

This latest coffee study comes on the heels of a study published in the February issue of Circulation that found long-term coffee consumption is linked with a lower stroke risk in women who don't smoke. To come to that conclusion, researchers followed more than 83,000 women who enrolled in the study in 1980 with no history of stroke, heart disease, diabetes or cancer. They found stroke risk was 20% lower in those drinking four or more cups a day and 12% lower in those who had coffee five to seven times a week.