Dr. Volgman shares if caffeine can cause heart attacks in women.
Caffeine does not usually cause heart attacks. What caffeine does is it stimulates the heart so that your heart rate is faster. If your heart gets irritable, especially if you have an abnormal heart, there are irritability signs such as increased palpitations, or skipped beats is what people describe their heart is doing. But actually, what it’s doing is it’s not skipping a beat, it’s actually having early beats, early excess beats that can trigger either atrial fibrillation or ventricular fibrillation that could be deadly, or atrial fibrillation can cause heart failure or strokes.
So if you are drinking too much caffeine, and it’s not just coffee, it’s sodas that have caffeine, Mountain Dew is a big source of caffeine, and those energy drinks that a lot of young people are drinking like Rage, what is it--Bull, Red Bull--those drinks have so much caffeine that it can kill you. So any excess in stimulation of the heart can increase your risk of heart disease.
So I tell my patients if they have palpitations or if they feel like they are having skipped beats, to decrease their caffeine intake and it will help them.
About Dr. Volgman, M.D., F.A.C.C.:
Annabelle S. Volgman is associate professor of medicine and medical director of the Heart Center for Women at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Volgman graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University, and received her medical doctorate degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. She received her internal medicine training at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics and her cardiology fellowship training at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She was a fellow in clinical electrophysiology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Illinois Masonic Medical Center under Richard Kehoe, M.D.
Dr. Volgman has published numerous abstracts and articles in multiple topics of women and heart disease as well as cardiac electrophysiology. She is currently president of the Metro Chicago Board of Directors of the AHA. She has been a prominent leader of the Go Red for Women movement and has received numerous awards from the American Heart Association. She has been listed in several lists of top doctors and was named a top doctor in the January 2008 issue of “Chicago Magazine.” She has been interviewed by numerous media about health issues and was featured in “O” magazine as Oprah Winfrey’s cardiologist.
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