Caffeine Not Recommended for Hypertensives

Caffeine Not Recommended for Hypertensives

Caffeine consumption can lead to stiffening of aorta and temporary blood pressure elevation.

In a study headed by Dr. Charalambos Vlachopoulos (Department of cardiology, Athens Medical School, Greece), 10 participants were given either a placebo or 250 mg (equivalent to 2-3 cups of coffee). They've found out that aside from caffeine's effect in raising both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, it also resulted in aortic stiffening which they've determined through measurement of carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV.)

Aorta is the major blood vessel that pumps blood away from the heart to circulate to various tissues and organs of the body. It's stiffening will result to retention of blood in the left ventricle (the heart's major pumping chamber.) This will lead to less volume of blood that's able to circulate and supply the body with oxygen and nutrients while the heart works harder to pump blood.

Caffeine's effect on increasing blood pressure and aortic stiffening  is alarming. This implies that drinking caffeinated drinks can endanger those with high blood pressure and already stiff arteries because it further increases their blood pressure and arterial stiffness, thus increasing their chances of suffering from life-threatening conditions such a sudden heart attack and stroke.

Caffeine's peak effect is reached about 60 minutes after ingestion, with a duration of at least 3 hours.