There have been many studies indicating the health benefits of drinking coffee and tea, however, Korean researchers found that taking caffeine-based medications such as pain relievers, cold medicines and alertness aids, may be linked to stroke.
Leading researcher Nam-Koyong Choi says that “Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which causes the blood vessels to tighten and increase the pressure of blood flow.”
Study Points to Caffeine in Meds and Stroke
940 adult patients who had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, which occurs as the result of a weakened blood vessel that eventually ruptures in the area surrounding the brain, were selected to participate in the study.
A second group of adults with no history of strokes, but had been hospitalized, and a third group who neither suffered a stroke nor been hospitalized were used for comparison.
The patients were asked about the medications they consumed two weeks prior to the study.
Researchers found that the individuals who had ingested medication containing caffeine were more likely to suffer a stroke.
Contradictions to the Caffeine and Stroke Study
Although this study has proven to be somewhat true, Dr. Daniel Woo, associate professor of Neurology at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio says, “Even though caffeine-containing medicines appear to increase the hemorrhagic stroke it doesn’t appear to be the caffeine dosage.”
Experts say that people who drink three cups of coffee a day didn’t seem to have a higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
Three cups of coffee a day contains more caffeine than the medications in question.
Dr. Susanna Larson, who specializes in caffeine research in Sweden, explains that in Korea the cold remedies may still contain a chemical that has been removed in medication in the United States as of 2000.
The removal was due to a study that linked this chemical to an increased risk of stroke.