Occasional coffee intake may complicate blood pressure diagnosis and treatment


Emobileclinic Researchers Corner


The American Journal of Hypertension has published the work of Researchers who found that occasional caffeine intake may worsen hypertension treatment. Coffee is a well known drink globally. Several studies have shown that caffeinated coffee can increase blood pressure acutely, while a decaffeinated coffee has no effect. Caffeine appears a leading factor affecting blood pressure which made scholars to submit that it is also a trigger for cardiovascular diseases.

One major concern however is that people who take coffee and caffeine regularly are immune against this risk, because their bodies have formed a tolerance. This is why previous studies suggest that the intervals at which people drink coffee are vital in determining the cause of the effect noticed in some people.

The researchers from Western University and Lawson Health Research Institute in London, and Ontario, Canada respectively, arrived at some surprising results when they measured the effect of occasional coffee consumption on blood pressure, and especially how coffee consumption impacts the action of calcium channel blockers which are used to relax and widen the blood vessels, making it easier for blood to flow. In this way, they reduce blood pressure.
According to the study leader, Dr. David Bailey said that the team wanted to find out what would happen to the blood pressure if a person stayed away from caffeine for a long time to eliminate the caffeine from the blood.
To validate this theory, 13 people averaging 52 years with normal blood pressure were invited to take part in an experiment. Three tests were done on the subjects, separated in time by 1 week. Before each test, the people take no coffee, caffeine-containing products, or other items such as alcohol, grapefruit, marmalade, tobacco, and medications for 48 hours. With a week interval, the participants then took two 300 milliliter cups of black coffee, 10mg dose of felodipine as well as a cup coffee and felodipine and then had their blood pressure taken. The results showed that, after the participants avoided coffee for only 2 days, enough caffeine was eliminated from the body so that the next time they drank coffee, their blood pressure rose.
After just one cup of coffee, the participants in the coffee-only group experienced the greatest increase in blood pressure. The blood pressure rose within an hour after drinking the coffee, and it lasted for several hours. Combining coffee with felodipine led to higher levels of blood pressure than taking only felodipine. This could be because the caffeine blocks the positive effect of the drug on the blood vessels, the researchers say.
They note that a morning cup of coffee could affect the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension, or high blood pressure.
Dr. Bailey is concerned that if a patient drinks coffee just before visiting their doctor, it could complicate diagnosis and treatment. The acute increase in blood pressure could lead to over-prescription of antihypertensive drugs. He reveals that between 15 and 20 percent of people who drink coffee do so only occasionally. People who drink coffee twice a week or less may have an occasional rise in blood pressure. In some people, the rise can be greater than in others.
There is a need for further studies to provide more data on the effect of occasional intake of coffee on the health of the people. This is more so because the national and international guidelines regarding high blood pressure do not take into consideration the impact of coffee as a result of a lack of evidence.

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