Fortunately, it seems that my coffee-drinking habits may mean that I'm less exposed to certain health risks, according to new research by the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora. The heart study has tracked the health of thousands of participants since the 1940s contributing to a wealth of data made available to researchers.
A press release stressed that this type of study demonstrates an observed association, but does not prove cause and effect.
The machine-led analysis by the University of Colorado was then compared with two other studies done on more traditional lines to get the overall trend.
Machine learning can make predictions based on data associations, and it has been increasingly used in healthcare and health-related research in the past few years. Carsten Görg implemented the experiment with the help of machine learning technology along with the conventional data analysis technologies to unwrap a counter relationship lies between the ratio of coffee drunk in a week and the chances of getting stroke and heart failure.
Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are exclusively those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position.
Adding just one extra cup of coffee a week may be enough to reduce the risk, and the research published by the American Heart Association found no limit to how much you can consume. The researchers tried to run a similar analysis for the consumption of red meat but the connection was more hard to validate because the definition of what counts as red meat varied between the Framingham Heart Study and those studies that were comparable. In this case, red meat consumption was identified as a potential risk factor, although here, the correlation was less striking. That being said, it is now hard to verify these results because the definition of what constitutes "red meat" differs between studies.
While many risk factors for heart failure and stroke are well known, the researchers believe it is likely that there are as-yet unidentified risk factors. Previous research has suggested that coffee's caffeine content, along with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, may be responsible for its presumed health benefits.
Having the breakfast brew could lower the risk of a stroke by eight per cent and heart failure by seven per cent, with increased reductions dependent on how much you have.
Scientists from Icahn School of Medicine in NY recruited 15,569 participants for the diet study and monitored their health for four years.
Laura Stevens, first author of the study, said: 'The association between drinking coffee and a decreased risk of heart failure and stroke was consistently noted in all three studies'.
She added: "Our findings suggest that machine learning could help us identify additional factors to improve existing risk assessment models".