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May 10, 2006

Caffeine and Incident Hypertension in Women—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2006;295(18):2135-2137. doi:10.1001/jama.295.18.2137-a

In Reply: An assumption of no causal effect of caffeine on the long-term risk of hypertension led us to postulate the presence of a hypertension-causing factor in cola beverages but not in coffee. Drs Vinson and Geleijnse make the case for an alternative explanation in which caffeine causes an increased long-term risk for hypertension. This explanation, however, requires the presence of hypotensive factors in coffee, both regular and decaffeinated, but not in colas to reconcile this hypothesis and our findings. The suggestion that antioxidants, which have been shown to be particularly abundant in coffee but not in cola, may be responsible for the lack of an association between coffee and the long-term risk of hypertension is interesting. In our cohorts, consumption of decaffeinated coffee was not associated with incident hypertension. Our study does not provide unequivocal evidence for the association between tea and the risk of hypertension.