Chronic coffee consumption has a detrimental effect on aortic stiffness and wave reflections

Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jun;81(6):1307-12. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/81.6.1307.


Background: The effect of coffee consumption on the cardiovascular system is still an unresolved issue. Aortic stiffness and wave reflections are important prognosticators of cardiovascular disease risk. We have shown that caffeine acutely increases aortic stiffness and wave reflections.

Objective: The objective was to investigate the effect of chronic coffee consumption on aortic stiffness and wave reflections.

Design: This was a cross-sectional study of 228 healthy subjects: 141 men (x +/- SD: 41 +/- 8 y old) and 87 women (41 +/- 9 y old). Aortic stiffness was evaluated with carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV). Wave reflections were evaluated with augmentation index (AIx) and augmented pressure (AP) of the aortic pressure waveform with the use of high-fidelity pulse wave analysis. Coffee consumption was ascertained over 1 y with a food-frequency questionnaire.

Results: A linear relation between coffee consumption and PWV, AIx, and AP was observed (P for trend < 0.05). Compared with the nonconsumption group, PWV was on average 13% higher, AIx was 2-fold higher, and AP was 2.4-fold higher (P < 0.01 for all) in the high-consumption group (>450 mL/d). The findings remained significant after control for confounders such as age, sex, smoking habits, body mass index, total and LDL cholesterol, triacylglycerols, blood glucose, mean blood pressure, and heart rate. The linear relation (P for trend < 0.05) observed between coffee consumption and arterial pressures was largely explained when the covariates were entered in the model.

Conclusions: Chronic coffee consumption exerts a detrimental effect on aortic stiffness and wave reflections, which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aorta / drug effects
  • Aorta / pathology
  • Aorta / physiology
  • Aortic Diseases / etiology*
  • Aortic Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Blood Flow Velocity / drug effects
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Caffeine / adverse effects
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects
  • Coffee / adverse effects*
  • Coffee / chemistry
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Elasticity / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Pulsatile Flow / drug effects*
  • Pulsatile Flow / physiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Coffee
  • Caffeine