BACKGROUND - The role of coffee in the cardiovascular system is not yet clear. We examined the relation of coffee intake with coronary calcification in a population-based cohort. METHODS AND RESULTS - The study involved 1570 older men and women without coronary heart disease who participated in the Rotterdam Study. Coffee intake was assessed with a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Coronary calcification was detected with electron beam computed tomography. Severe calcification was defined as an Agatson calcium score >400. Sex-specific odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were obtained by logistic regression with adjustment for age, smoking, body mass index, education, and intake of energy and alcohol. In multivariable analysis, coronary calcification in women was significantly reduced for moderate (>3 to 4 cups) and high (>4 cups) coffee intake, compared with a daily intake of 3 cups or less (OR of 0.41 [95% CI: 0.25 to 0.65] and 0.54 [0.33 to 0.87], respectively). The association persisted after additional adjustment for tea and other dietary confounders, and was not modified by smoking. A nonsignificant inverse relationship was also found in men who smoked, whereas in nonsmoking men a direct association was observed. CONCLUSION - The present study suggests a beneficial effect of coffee drinking against coronary calcification, particularly in women. More research is needed to confirm these findings and to clarify possible effect modification by gender and smoking.

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Keywords Coffee, Coronary calcification, Coronary heart disease, Electron-beam computed tomography, Population-based study
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van Woudenbergh, G.J., Vliegenthart, R., van Rooij, F.J.A., Hofman, A., Oudkerk, M., Witteman, J.C.M., & Geleijnse, J.M.. (2008). Coffee consumption and coronary calcification: The Rotterdam coronary calcification study. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 28(5), 1018–1023. doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.107.160457