March 9th, 2015
The Coffee Conundrum – What Do You Say to Your Patient?
This post continues our series “What Do You Say to Your Patient?” In this series, we ask members to share how they interpret a complex or controversial issue for patients. To review earlier posts, click here.
Your 55-year old female patient with hyperlipidemia and hypertension comes in for her annual follow up.
She is taking daily aspirin 81 mg and atorvastatin 20 mg, both for primary prevention. She also takes CoQ10, ginseng, and an herbal medication for her liver. She is not sure what the herbal medication contains but says it, “…keeps my liver healthy.” Her lipids are well controlled and she exercises for 20-25 minutes every day on an elliptical machine.
Your patient says she drinks two cups of coffee a day and adds cream and sugar to each cup.
She asks: “I recently heard that coffee could help prevent heart disease. Should I drink more per day?”
What do you tell your patient?
Do you advise her to alter the amount of coffee she drinks?
Do you discuss what she is adding to her coffee and how it might affect her risk?