Your morning cup of Coffee could be the key to a healthier heart according to a data study conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado. The study examined statistical relationships between data from the famed Framingham Heart Study, and then confirmed their findings with the results of two other similar heart studies.

The research was conducted by Laura Stevens, Carsten Gorg, and David Kao from the University of Colorado, Aurora. Their results were published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

The researchers used the latest in machine learning techniques to examine the large data sets available from the Framingham study.

They noted relationships between several data points and then cross-checked them with the results of two other heart studies.

Their observations were confirmed with the comparison.

Drinking coffee

What they learned was that people who drank coffee had a significantly lower risk of Heart Disease than people who were non-coffee drinkers. The data showed that for each extra cup of coffee drank during a week, the risk of heart disease fell 7% and the risk of stroke fell 8% in coffee drinkers versus non-coffee drinkers.

That isn’t to say you should start drinking huge amounts of coffee every day. There are risk factors for other diseases that can be affected by drinking an abnormally large amount of coffee.

However, it is an indicator that an extra cup of coffee could hold more benefits than hazards.

Looking at the data

Researchers pointed out that the data does not confirm a cause and effect relationship. In other words, they are not saying drinking a cup of coffee will definitely lower the risk of heart disease. The connection is only a relationship between the numbers.

The study also did not examine the ingredients in coffee that make coffee healthy for the heart.

The machine learning tool works by examining the data in a study and finding associations between the sets. Researchers used the Framingham Heart Study data because it recorded information on participants' diet. The researchers didn’t stop with examining one study.

They also examined two other studies, the Cardiovascular Heart Study and the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Those studies were chosen because they collected similar sets of data when compared with the Framingham study. Using traditional statistical analysis tools, they examined the results of those studies and discovered similar results from their data sets. People who drank more coffee had a lower chance of heart disease.

The researchers are particularly excited about the machine learning aspect of the data analysis. They believe the ability of computers to discover associations between data sets will allow them to make better predictions regarding heart disease and risk factors.