Good Food and Coffee

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Coffee Reporter
May 2012
According to a new study from the National Institutes of Health, coffee drinkers appear to live longer than non-drinkers. Among the findings, men who drank four to five cups a day of coffee saw a 12% reduction in the risk of mortality while women logged a 16% cut.The largest-ever analysis of coffee and mortality, the study appears to upend inconsistent results from prior, smaller studies. The current study finds a clear, inverse relationship between coffee consumption and the risk of mortality across all daily consumption levels of one cup or more. There appeared to be no distinction between regular and decaffeinated, suggesting that the benefit stems from another one or more of coffee’s 1,000-plus compounds.The reduction in mortality risk held true for deaths overall as well as for deaths related to specific causes. Among them were heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke and diabetes but not cancer, for which results were neutral. Also, the link was found to be stronger in coffee drinkers who had never smoked.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Society and AARP, tracked 400,000 people – 229,000 men and 173,000 women – between 50 and 71 years of age for nearly 14 years. Essentially, the coffee drinkers among them were less likely to die during the study’s duration.

Lower consumption levels also reduced the mortality risk among the subjects, as compared with those who drank no coffee at all. For men, risk was reduced as follows: one cup – 6%; two to three cups – 10%; and six or more cups – 10%. For women, the corresponding numbers were: 5%, 13% and 15%.

The study, Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality, was conducted by Neal Freeman, Ph.D. and his team at the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Funding was also supplied by the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics of the National Cancer Institute and AARP, which also co-founded the original NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study on whose panel the current study was built.

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