Cup of coffee and coffee beans. Released by Marcus Brewster on behalf of Nestle. Supplied to Verve, The Star.

London - Two mugs of coffee a day could help keep the heart healthy.

A study has linked the drink with a lower risk of heart failure.

With up to 40 percent of those affected dying within a year of diagnosis, heart failure has a worse survival rate than many cancers.

The latest research suggests that regularly drinking moderate amounts of coffee can cut the odds of cardiac trouble – though too much could be counter-productive.

Crunching together the results of five previous studies, involving almost 150,000 men and women, showed that those who enjoyed one or two mugs of coffee a day were 11 percent less likely to develop heart failure than those who had none.

Heart attack survivors gained as much benefit as those with healthy hearts.

But drinking five or more mugs a day appeared to be bad for the heart, the journal Circulation Heart Failure reports.

Researcher Dr Murray Mittleman, of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, said: “As with so many things, moderation appears to be the key here too.”

The researchers aren’t sure why coffee seems to cut the odds of heart failure, in which the organ, weakened by a heart attack or disease, struggles to pump blood around the body.

They say it may be because the drink reduces the likelihood of high blood pressure and of diabetes – both of which boost the odds of heart failure.

Dr Mittleman said: “It stands to reason that reducing one’s odds of developing either one of them, in turn, reduces one’s chance of heart failure.” - Daily Mail