Hypertension Latest News and Updates: Coffee Can Complicate Hypertension Diagnosis And Treatment

First Posted: Sep 05, 2016 04:50 AM EDT

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks around the world, and in the United States more than 50 percent of the population drink coffee. However, a new research has just found that an occasional cup of coffee may be harmful for patients being treated with high blood pressure because it can reduce the effect of the medication to lower down blood pressure.

There have been several studies showing that caffeinated coffee can abruptly increase the blood pressure, whereas decaffeinated coffee does not. it was also found that caffeine may be a major factor in affecting blood pressure, and health experts suggest that it can trigger cardiovascular events.

According to, a team from Western University and Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario, Canada analyzed how occasional drinking of coffee can affect the blood pressure and the impact it has on the action of calcium channel blockers. The results that came out were pretty surprising.

Calcium channel blockers such as felodipine are a type of medication used to lower down blood pressure. They function to relax and widen blood vessels making it easier for the blood to flow, which then reduces the blood pressure.

For the study, the research team, led by Dr. David Bailey, a Lawson Scientist and researcher at Western's Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, wanted to know what happens to the blood pressure if patients abstain from coffee long enough for all caffeine to disappear in the blood stream. There were 13 people with an average age of 52 with normal blood pressure who participated in the experiment. Medical News Today reported that the team carried out three tests over the course of three weeks.

Before each test, participants were not allowed to have coffee or any caffeine-containing products as well as alcohol, grapefruit, marmalade, tobacco and other medications were cut for 48 hours. After that, they were given two 300ml cups of black coffee and had their blood pressure taken in one week. During the second week, they were given the maximum recommended dose of felodipine. And in the final week, they combined coffee and felodipine.

Results revealed that after 2 days of abstaining from coffee, the amount of caffeine in their body was significantly reduced. So the next time they drank coffee, their blood pressure quickly rose. The second week of experiment revealed that the participants experienced the greatest increase in blood pressure an hour after they drank coffee and the elevated blood pressure lasted for several hours. It was also revealed that the combination of felodipine and coffee led to led to higher levels of blood pressure than taking if only felodipine was taken. Researchers suggest that it may be because caffeine blocks the positive effect of the drug on the blood vessels, reported.

Meanwhile, researches also noted that a morning cup of coffee could have an effect on the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension, or high blood pressure. "Even one cup of coffee containing a relatively low amount of caffeine remarkably compromised the anti-hypertensive effect of this drug at the maximum recommended dose. If you wanted to overcome the effect of the coffee, you had to double the dose of this anti-hypertensive drug which could increase the risk of unwanted excessive drug effects, particularly during the period when coffee is not consumed," Dr. Bailey said.

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