There are many different heart conditions including angina, heart attack and abnormal heart rhythms, caused by a variety of factors.
These can be life threatening, especially if they are not diagnosed or if necessary precautions aren’t taken.
The British Heart Foundation says that there are over seven million people in the UK living with heart problems.
Cardiovascular disease remains the biggest killer, with a quarter of deaths from heart disease due to this condition.
Since the British Heart Foundation was founded, however, the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease has “fallen by more than half”.
A new study from the American College of Cardiology suggested that slurping energy drinks “should” be avoided by patients with a pre-existing heart condition.
Patients with heart problems were asked to consume energy drinks containing anywhere between 150 - 500 mg of concentrated caffeine, and then report what happened.
Three in four of these patients said they experienced palpitations, an uncomfortable feeling that the heart is beating too fast or too hard, up to 24 hours after consuming the drink.
This led the study authors to make the recommendation.
However, they did not suggest that caffeine should be excluded from a patients diet entirely.
In fact, their observations of more than 100,000 patients revealed that guzzling drinks containing up to 300 mg/day may be safe for people suffering from arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms.
As a single cup of coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine, this could mean it is safe to drink more than three cups a day.
“There is a public perception, often based on anecdotal experience, that caffeine is a common acute trigger for heart rhythm problems,” said Peter Kistler, MBBS, PhD, director of electrophysiology at Alfred Hospital and Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, and the study’s lead author.
“Our extensive review of the medical literature suggests this is not the case.”
“Caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea may have long term anti-arrhythmic properties mediated by antioxidant effects and antagonism of adenosine,” Kistler said.
“In numerous population-based studies, patients who regularly consume coffee and tea at moderate levels have a lower lifetime risk of developing heart rhythm problems and possibly improved survival.”
This follows on from advice last year, that three cups of coffee a day could lead to a longer and healthier life.
The findings came from the world’s largest study into coffee’s impact on health, involving more than 500,000 people in 10 European countries including Britain.
Dr Marc Gunter, of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, said: “We found that higher coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, and specifically for circulatory diseases, and digestive diseases.
“Importantly, these results were similar across all 10 European countries, with variable coffee drinking habits and customs.”