Coffee intake and risk of hypertension: the Johns Hopkins precursors study

Arch Intern Med. 2002 Mar 25;162(6):657-62. doi: 10.1001/archinte.162.6.657.


Background: Whether the increase in blood pressure with coffee drinking seen in clinical trials persists over time and translates into an increased incidence of hypertension is not known.

Methods: We assessed coffee intake in a cohort of 1017 white male former medical students (mean age, 26 years) in graduating classes from 1948 to 1964 up to 11 times over a median follow-up of 33 years. Blood pressure and incidence of hypertension were determined annually by self-report, demonstrated to be accurate in this cohort.

Results: Consumption of 1 cup of coffee a day raised systolic blood pressure by 0.19 mm Hg (95% confidence interval, 0.02-0.35) and diastolic pressure by 0.27 mm Hg (95% confidence interval, 0.15-0.39) after adjustment for parental incidence of hypertension and time-dependent body mass index, cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, and physical activity in analyses using generalized estimating equations. Compared with nondrinkers at baseline, coffee drinkers had a greater incidence of hypertension during follow-up (18.8% vs. 28.3%; P =.03). Relative risk (95% confidence interval) of hypertension associated with drinking 5 or more cups a day was 1.35 (0.87-2.08) for baseline intake and 1.60 (1.06-2.40) for intake over follow-up. After adjustment for the variables listed above, however, these associations were not statistically significant.

Conclusion: Over many years of follow-up, coffee drinking is associated with small increases in blood pressure, but appears to play a small role in the development of hypertension.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Coffee / adverse effects*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / chemically induced*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Time Factors


  • Coffee