Background Although coffee consumption is often reported as a trigger for atrial fibrillation (AF) among patients with paroxysmal AF, prospective studies on the relation of coffee consumption with AF risk have been inconsistent. Hence, we sought to assess the association between coffee consumption and risk of AF in men. Methods and Results We prospectively studied men who participated in the Physicians' Health Study (N=18 960). Coffee consumption was assessed through self-reported food frequency questionnaires. The incidence of AF was assessed through annual questionnaires and validated through review of medical records in a subsample. Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate hazard ratios and 95% CIs of AF. The average age was 66.1 years. A total of 2098 new cases of AF occurred during a mean follow-up of 9 years. Hazard ratios (95% CI) of AF were 1.0 (reference), 0.85 (0.71-1.02), 1.07 (0.88-1.30), 0.93 (0.74-1.17), 0.85 (0.74-0.98), 0.86 (0.76-0.97), and 0.96 (0.80-1.14) for coffee consumption of rarely/never, ≤1 cup/week, 2 to 4 cups/week, 5 to 6 cups/week, 1 cup/day, 2 to 3 cups/day, and 4+ cups/day, respectively; adjusting for age, smoking, alcohol intake, and exercise (P for nonlinear trend=0.01). In a secondary analysis the multivariable adjusted hazard ratio (95% CI) of AF per standard deviation (149-mg) change in caffeine intake was 0.97 (0.92-1.02). Conclusions Our data suggest a lower risk of AF among men who reported coffee consumption of 1 to 3 cups/day.
Keywords: atrial fibrillation; caffeine; cardiovascular disease; coffee; epidemiology and Nutrition.