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Study Shows Coffee Does Not Increase Blood Pressure

Women who drink a lot of caffeinated cola might be increasing their risk of heart attack and stroke while those who drink caffeinated coffee apparently do not. That's according to a new medical study published this week.

There's good news for women who drink coffee: it does not increase the risk of high blood pressure, according to a new study in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study ran for 12 years and included more than 150,000 women.

Dr. Wolfgang Winkelmayer and his colleagues conducted the study expected to find drinking caffeinated coffee would produce a greater risk of high blood pressure.

"If anything, coffee drinking was associated with a preventive effect, in that women who drank more coffee were less likely to have high blood pressure," said the doctor.

Dr. Winkelmayer and his staff found that even women who drank six or more cups of coffee per day had no greater risk of high blood pressure. But, he says the same did not hold true for women who drank caffeinated colas.

"We found that drinking soda beverages that contained caffeine, regular cola or diet cola, was associated with a greater risk of high blood pressure."

Regular cola increased the risk by 44 percent for older women and by 28 percent for younger women. However, Dr. Winkelmayer says more research is needed to find out why caffeinated colas seem to increase blood pressure.

"I would not jump to any conclusions at this point. I really believe that more research is necessary to solidify these findings," he said.

But Dr. Winkelmayer says his findings about caffeinated coffee are clear.

The American Beverage Association released a statement saying other factors can cause high blood pressure: lifestyle, stress and other health conditions and that further study needs to be done to determine how important these other factors are with respect to consumption of soft drinks and high blood pressure.