Cheating death with coffee?: Coffee Lowers Death Risk

Published: November 19, 2015

Cheating death with coffee?: Coffee Lowers Death Risk, More good news on coffee: A large study has found that drinking coffee is associated with a reduced risk of dying from heart disease and certain other causes.

Researchers followed more than 200,000 doctors and nurses for up to 30 years. The participants had periodic physical examinations and completed questionnaires on diet and behavior, including their coffee habits. The study is in Circulation.

Compared with abstainers, nonsmokers who drank a cup of coffee a day had a 6 percent reduced risk of death, one to three cups an 8 percent reduced risk, three to five cups a 15 percent reduced risk, and more than five cups a 12 percent reduced risk. There was little difference whether they drank caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee. The association persisted after controlling for age, alcohol consumption, B.M.I. and other health and diet factors.

Coffee drinking was linked to a reduced risk of death from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, neurological diseases and suicide, although not from cancer.

The association was not apparent in smokers, probably because death from smoking-related causes overwhelms the positive effect of coffee drinking.

While the findings are encouraging, the lead author, Dr. Ming Ding, of the Harvard School of Public Health, cautioned, “Our study is observational, so it’s hard to know if the positive effect is causal or not.”

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