Drinking more than a cup of coffee a day was associated with a 22 percent to 25 percent lower risk of stroke, compared with those who drank less.
Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. "Therefore, even small health effects of substances in coffee may have large public health consequences," said Susanna Larsson, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a researcher in the Division of Nutritional Epidemiology, National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
Potential ways that coffee drinking might reduce the risk of stroke include weakening subclinical inflammation, reducing oxidative stress and improving insulin sensitivity, Larsson said.
"Some women have avoided consuming coffee because they have thought it is unhealthy. In fact, increasing evidence indicates that moderate coffee consumption may decrease the risk of some diseases such as diabetes, liver cancer and possibly stroke."