Good news everyone! According to new research out of the University of Colorado, drinking coffee every week might reduce your risk of heart failure or stroke. Not by much though. We’re talking an increased survival rate of seven percent for heart attack, and eight percent for stroke, but if you’re downing several cups a day—and regularly getting that shaky handed the-world-is-ending feeling—then carry on!
The findings come courtesy of two computational bioscience PHD candidates. They approached the project as a data mining exercise, and used computer learning to wade through 70 years of cardiovascular health findings from the town of Framingham in Massachusetts. As an interesting side note, the town wasn’t just randomly chosen. The doctors of Framingham have been recording the lifestyles, diets, and genetic factors of three generations of its residents since 1948, creating a big data goldmine for medical researchers everywhere.
The Colorado PHD researchers used random forest machine-learning methods to comb for links between diet and health. They weren’t specifically looking to find a relationship between healthy hearts and coffee, instead they were just searching for anything that stood out.
Unsurprisingly, the computer program picked up on the well-established link between red meat and heart failure. But the other thing it came back with was less expected, and that was connection between coffee and heart health.
But as lead author Laura Stevens explained to the Australian, “We don’t know if it is the coffee, compounds in the coffee or behaviour associated with drinking coffee. We are still investigating the mechanism behind the association.”
Despite this admission, the findings seems solid. After double-checking their results with two other datasets, the correlation still appeared.
Laura and her team have since presented their findings to a conference in California.