Coffee may significantly reduce the risk of stroke in middle-aged and older women, a study has found.
Drinking more than one cup of coffee a day cuts the risk of stroke by a quarter, researchers found.
The study looked at more than 34,600 women aged 49 to 83 whose health was monitored for 10 years.
During this time, 1,680 strokes were recorded. Coffee consumption was associated with significant reductions in different types of stroke.
Women who drank more than a cup of coffee a day had a 22pc to 25pc lower risk of stroke than those who drank less.
The benefit remained the same whether women drank one to two cups, three to four cups, or more than five cups.
Scientists believe drinking coffee may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and improve insulin sensitivity.
"Some women have avoided consuming coffee because they have thought it is unhealthy," said lead researcher Dr Susanna Larsson, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
"In fact, increasing evidence indicates that moderate coffee consumption may decrease the risk of some diseases such as diabetes, liver cancer, and possibly stroke."
Previous research looking at the effects of coffee on the cardiovascular system has been inconclusive.
The new findings were reported in the Journal Of The American Heart Association.email@example.com