They found that consuming coffee was associated with a seven percent decreased risk of heart failure and an eight percent decreased risk of stroke compared to those who did not consume coffee. Carsten Görg and David Kao, who both conducted this study, used machine learning alongside traditional data analysis techniques to uncover an inverse relationship between how much coffee we drink per week and how exposed we are to heart failure and stroke. To ensure the validity of their results and determine direction of risk, the researchers further investigated the machine learning results using traditional analysis in two studies with similar sets of data - the Cardiovascular Heart Study and the Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities Study.
Machine learning may be an effective way to analyze data to discover new ways to predict the risk of heart failure and stroke.
Their results were recently presented at the American Heart Association's (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2017, held in Anaheim, CA.
Although the findings were consistent, the researchers emphasize that the association is not necessarily causal, so we shouldn't jump to any conclusions just yet.
Lead researcher Dr Kyla Lara, from Mount Sinai Hospital in NY, said: "Eating a diet mostly of dark green leafy plants, fruits, beans, whole grains and fish, while limiting processed meats, saturated fats, trans fats, refined carbohydrates and foods high in added sugars is a heart-healthy lifestyle and may specifically help prevent heart failure if you don't already have it".
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Studies show drinking coffee also lowers your risk of Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, protects against Parkinson's and helps your liver. Further investigation to better determine how red meat consumption affects risk for heart failure and stroke is ongoing. That being said, it is now hard to verify these results because the definition of what constitutes "red meat" differs between studies. Instead, they suggest replacing it with chicken, fish, and beans.
The study involved more than 15,500 American adults, aged 45 and older, without known heart disease or heart failure. "We don't yet know if it is the coffee intake itself or another behaviour that might go along with it", she says.
The researchers identified that of the above discussed five dietary patterns, the plant-based dietary pattern was found to be greatly linked to a 42% reduced risk of incident heart failure over the four years of the study after being adjusted for race, sex, age of patients, and other risk factors.
Laura Stevens, first author of the study, said: 'The association between drinking coffee and a decreased risk of heart failure and stroke was consistently noted in all three studies'.
The new research also supports the idea that machine learning may help researchers identify other unknown risk factors-or protective factors-for disease.