June 26, 2012 -- Drinking coffee in moderation may reduce your risk of heart failure as you age, according to a new analysis.
What's moderate? About two cups a day, if you're drinking the typical U.S. coffee serving, says researcher Murray Mittleman, MD, DrPH, director of cardiovascular epidemiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
"Beyond that, any potential benefits seem to decrease and eventually go away," Mittleman tells WebMD, while making clear that this study found a link, but not cause and effect.
About 5.8 million Americans have heart failure, according to the CDC. It occurs when the heart can't pump enough blood to the body.
"We are seeing great increases in the incidence of heart failure," says Mittleman, who is also associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Harvard University.
Although heart failure can be controlled with medications and lifestyle changes, it greatly affects quality of life, Mittleman tells WebMD.