Death by caffeine: an eye-catching headline when a coroner recently declared a South Carolina teen died from excessive caffeine consumption. In the span of two hours, according to reports, the 16 year-old drank a large Diet Mountain Dew, a cafe latte from McDonald’s and an energy drink, causing a “caffeine-induced cardiac event” leading to a probable arrhythmia.

The news surprised many experts in the medical community, including Joseph Garry, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

“Deaths from caffeine ingestion are actually quite rare,” Garry explained. “However, this is entirely preventable and as such, any preventable death is tragic.”

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