VIDEO: AHA presentations show caffeine consumption ‘double-edged sword’
In this video, Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, PhD, spoke with Healio about presentations on caffeine consumption and atrial fibrillation presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.
Sweitzer is director of the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center and professor of medicine and chief of the division of cardiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson
“Atrial fibrillation clearly occurs a lot with heart failure,” Sweitzer said, adding that patients often ask about lifestyle factors affecting HF.
One trial presented at AHA assessed triggers in patients with AF, assigning participants to avoid these triggers or to use them. Patients were given wearables devices to monitor AF.
“Alcohol was a clear trigger for atrial fibrillation in these patients — no surprise — but interestingly, caffeine was not,” she said, noting that this was despite many patients reporting that caffeine was a trigger of their AF.
Another study, according to Sweitzer, showed that coffee consumption increased premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), but not AF in healthy adults.
“But also, really interestingly, I think to all physicians and professionals around the world, caffeine increased activity in all of these patients,” she said. “They had more steps on the weeks they were ingesting caffeine than [the] weeks they weren’t.”
She added that it is important to point out to patients that “caffeine is a double-edged sword,” as the studies presented at AHA showed that it may increase physical activity without triggering AF, but it may increase PVCs.
“The body of knowledge about caffeine at AHA was very interesting to me,” Sweitzer said.
- Marcus GM, et al. LBS.03. Prevention to Intervention in Atrial Arrythmias. Presented at: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; Nov. 13-15, 2021 (virtual meeting).
- Marcus GM, et al. LBS.04. Information Overload? Striving to Improve Care Delivery Through Digital Health and Automated Data. Presented at: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions; Nov. 13-15, 2021 (virtual meeting).