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Taking Pills Containing Caffeine Raises Your Risk of Stroke

Filed June 25th, 2013 edlieber1

People who take caffeine-containing medication face two to three times the risk of having a stroke compared to people who don’t take pills with caffeine, a new Korean study suggests.

The products included mostly over-the-counter pain relievers, cold medicines and alertness aids containing small amounts of caffeine, Reuters reported. Nam-Kyong Choi of Seoul National University College of Medicine, and researchers selected 940 adult patients who had a hemorrhagic stroke, where a blood vessel in the brain bursts, resulting in heavy bleeding.

Researchers compared those patients to a group of similar people who had not suffered a stroke but had been hospitalized, and to a group that had never suffered a stroke or gone to the hospital, Reuters reported. Participants in each group were interviewed about the types of medications that they had recently taken.

After the interviews were concluded, researchers found that those who had taken caffeine-containing pills were close to two and a half times more likely to suffer a stroke, according to Reuters. In total, 5 percent of people who had endured strokes had taken a caffeine medication, compared to 2.3 percent in the no-stroke groups.

Interestingly, the risk of stroke was even greater for those who took medication with caffeine and didn’t drink coffee. Those participants were closer to three times more likely to have strokes than people not taking the medications. Meanwhile, those who drank coffee daily were not found to be at an increased risk.

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