How does coffee affect atrial fibrillation (AFib)?

Dr. Mowaffak Atfeh, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Drinking coffee can affect atrial fibrillation since caffeine is a trigger for the condition. Mowaffak Atfeh, MD from Oak Hill Hospital, explains more in this video.
Saumil R. Shah, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
As far as we know, excessive caffeine consumption probably has an effect in inducing AFib, but one or two cups of coffee a day should have no effect. I see a lot of people with atrial fibrillation who stop drinking coffee but still have the condition. Like every thing else, excessive consumption puts you at greater risk but light to moderate use is alright.
You can drink coffee if you have atrial fibrillation (AFib). If your heart rate happens to be very sensitive to caffeine you may need to decrease the quantity of coffee you drink. Many patients are placed on medications to slow their heartbeat and control their heart rhythm.
Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
If you are sensitive to caffeine, it makes good sense to avoid it if you have atrial fibrillation. Talk to your doctor about drinking caffeinated coffee if you have arrhythmias or episodes of atrial fibrillation. The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant and can cause you to have a serious arrhythmia if you are sensitive to it. Keep in mind that other foods, beverages and medications have caffeine in them. For example, energy drinks are usually high in caffeine. Chocolate bars have caffeine, as do some teas, including green tea. Some headache preparations have caffeine, so read the labels carefully.

Continue Learning about Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation -- the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia -- causes an irregular heartbeat that can increase your risk for stroke and heart failure. Atrial fibrillation (AF or AFib) results from faulty signals produced by ...

the heart's electrical system, causing the upper portion of the heart to fibrillate, or contract rapidly and irregularly. AFib doesn't cause noticeable symptoms for everyone. For those who do experience symptoms, heart palpitations are common along with feeling weak, dizzy and tired. Learn more about atrial fibrillation with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.