Ever drink so much coffee your hands begin to shake? Though this may lead you to believe drinking too many cups of joe could also cause your heart to flutter, a new study says this simply isn't so. Coffee, even when drunk in unusually large quantities (or abnormally large cups), is not associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, according to new research from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

Atrial fibrillation, as described by the American Heart Association, is a quivering heart, and nearly 2.7 million Americans live with this condition. Fluttering or irregular heartbeats (also known as an arrhythmia) can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other complications. Though many people are not aware of the danger, untreated atrial fibrillation doubles your risk of a heart-related death.

Past research has shown that a moderate amount of coffee may reduce the general risk of heart disease. However, when it comes to atrial fibrillation specifically, some scientists speculate the opposite may be true and too much coffee may increase your risk of this condition. So, what are the facts?

Led by Dr. Susanna Larsson, a research team performed a meta-analysis of four studies involving coffee and health. All told, their research involved nearly a quarter million people in both Sweden and the United States.

The researchers began with a study that included 41,881 men and 34,594 women. These participants reported how many cups of coffee they consumed in 1997 and then agreed to be tracked over the course of 12 years. During the study, the men and women both averaged three cups of coffee each day. Importantly, 4,311 men and 2,730 women reported a case of atrial fibrillation over the 12-year period.

Analyzing the data, the researchers discovered coffee was not associated with an incidence of atrial fibrillation, even when the number of daily cups was extreme.

Next, the researchers looked at four other prospective studies. The grand total number of atrial fibrillation cases swelled to 10,406 people (out of 248,910).

Performing a sex-specific analysis, the researchers discovered coffee consumption linked to a non-significant increased risk of atrial fibrillation in men and a non-significant decreased risk in women. All told, they say drinking java will not cause atrial fibrillation.

Despite the evidence, coffee may trigger other forms of irregular heartbeat, since some people with atrial fibrillation at the start of the study may have quit drinking coffee or lowered the number of cups per day because they believed it triggered an arrhythmia. Ultimately, more study is needed to answer these questions, the researchers noted.

“We find no evidence that high consumption of coffee increases the risk of atrial fibrillation,” Larson concluded in a press release. “People who like coffee can safely continue to consume it, at least in moderation, without the risk of developing this condition.”

Source: Larson SC, Drca N, Jensen-Urstad M, Wolk A. Coffee consumption is not associated with increased risk of atrial fibrillation: results from two prospective cohorts and a meta-analysis. BMC Medicine. 2015.