PURPOSE:The purpose of this work was to evaluate the association between coffee consumption and 10-year cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence in the ATTICA study, and whether this is modified by the presence or absence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) at baseline. METHODS:During 2001-2002, 3042 healthy adults (1514 men and 1528 women) living in the greater area of Athens were voluntarily recruited to the ATTICA study. In 2011-2012, the 10-year follow-up was performed in 2583 participants (15% of the participants were lost to follow-up). Coffee consumption was assessed by a validated food-frequency questionnaire at baseline (abstention, low, moderate, heavy). Incidence of fatal or non-fatal CVD event was recorded using WHO-ICD-10 criteria and MetS was defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment panel III (revised) criteria. RESULTS:Overall, after controlling for potential CVD risk factors, the multivariate analysis revealed a J-shaped association between daily coffee drinking and the risk for a first CVD event in a 10-year period. Particularly, the odds ratio for low (<150 ml/day), moderate (150-250 ml/day) and heavy coffee consumption (>250 ml/day), compared to abstention, were 0.44 (95% CI 0.29-0.68), 0.49 (95% CI 0.27-0.92) and 2.48 (95% CI 1.56-1.93), respectively. This inverse association was also verified among participants without MetS at baseline, but not among participants with the MetS. CONCLUSIONS:These data support the protective effect of drinking moderate quantities of coffee (equivalent to approximately 1-2 cups daily) against CVD incidents. This protective effect was only significant for participants without MetS at baseline.