Women do not develop high blood pressure from a coffee drinking habit but there is a link between hypertension and drinking colas that may have nothing to do with caffeine, a study said on Tuesday.
"We found strong evidence to refute speculation that coffee consumption is associated with an increased risk of hypertension in women," wrote study author Wolfgang Winkelmayer of Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health.
Previous studies have offered conflicting findings about the relationship between coffee consumption and hypertension, but many experts have concluded healthy peoples' bodies learn to tolerate a daily cup or two.
No link was found between habitual coffee consumption and hypertension based on analysis of 12 years of data on 33,077 cases of high blood pressure among 155,594 women participating in the Nurses Health Study, which is jointly run by the hospital and the school.
However, there was an association found between hypertension and consumption of caffeinated colas, independent of whether the soft drinks were sugared or diet. The current study did not look at non-cola soft drinks.
"We speculate that it is not caffeine but perhaps some other compound contained in soda-type soft drinks that may be responsible for the increased risk in hypertension," said the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Roughly 50 million people in the United States suffer from hypertension, and the number is increasing. The condition increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney trouble.