It’s no picnic for retired engineer Chris Harmer, who can only drink decaf sometimes, but not all the time, because he attributes the consumption to his raging case of atrial fibrillation. Scientists aren’t really certain there’s a direct connection. Is it all in Mr. Harmer’s head? 

‘I have coffee from a particular roaster in Bristol because I get on with his decaf. Costa I get on with, too, but Starbucks is lethal. Chocolate’s bad, too.’

The Daily Mail’s piece is another one of many dizzying and dazzling displays of poor journalism and pseudoscience. “What that morning coffee is REALLY doing to your heart” begins with a classic weepy Daily Mail human interest bit on Mr. Harmer followed by woefully out of context physician quotes. Add a pinch of terrifying statistics, a dash of loose connections between diseases, a heaping dollop of caffeine risks, a cup of fear and a pinch of terror, and you’ll have yourself an ultimately anticlimactic crap-pie. What’s coffee REALLY doing to your heart? By reading this, you won’t find out.

‘The common opinion is that coffee is bad,’ says Dr Grace. ‘The evidence we have is that caffeine has a neutral, and potentially protective, effect on arrhythmias.

‘Caffeine may, in occasional patients, trigger attacks, but it would appear not to shorten lives.

‘This, of course, is good news for coffee drinkers.’
Jo Jerrome adds:

‘We recommend that once a person has seen a doctor and got a diagnosis of AF, they keep a diary to see if there is any pattern.’

Chris Harmer is happy to play it safe.

‘At heart rhythm conferences one hears that a certain amount of coffee can help, but we’re all different.

‘I love my coffee but, luckily, you can get quite good decaf now.’

The Daily Mail: “What the morning coffee is REALLY doing to your heart”