According a study from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and AARP [published in the May 17, 2012, edition of the New England Journal of Medicine], adults who drink either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee have a lower risk of death than those who do not.
Coffee drinkers were found to be less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections. The conclusions were drawn from a large study of older adults who were observed after adjustment for the effects of other risk factors like as smoking and level of alcohol consumption. Researchers caution that these associations do not necessarily imply that drinking coffee actually increases your lifespan.
Neal Freedman, Ph.D., and his colleagues from the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics examined the association between coffee drinking and risk of death in 400,000 U.S. men and women ages 50 to 71 who participated in the study. The participants became involved in the study between 1995 and 1996 and were followed until the date they died or Dec. 31, 2008, whichever came first.
The researchers found that the association between coffee and reduction in risk of death increased with the amount of coffee consumed. Relative to men and women who did not drink coffee, those who consumed three or more cups of coffee per day had approximately a 10 percent lower risk of death.
“Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in America, but the association between coffee consumption and risk of death has been unclear. We found coffee consumption to be associated with lower risk of death overall, and of death from a number of different causes,’’ epxplains Freedman. “Although we cannot infer a causal relationship between coffee drinking and lower risk of death, we believe these results do provide some reassurance that coffee drinking does not adversely affect health.”
Coffee intake was assessed by a one-time self-report and therefore might not reflect long-term patterns of consumption. There is potential for research into the effects of coffee preparation methods, as the researchers consider it possible that partiuclar methods may affect the levels of protective components in coffee.
Adapated from Jonathan Kantrowitz’s Health News Report.