Good News for Coffee Lovers

Amy Jacob

Always a brewing topic, coffee drinking has been linked to a lower risk of dying from heart disease.

Always a brewing topic, coffee drinking has been linked to a lower risk of dying from heart disease.

Ming Ding, MD, Harvard School of Public Health, lead author and team explored the correlation between consumption of total, caffeinated, and decaffeinated coffee and risk of mortality.

The study, published in the journal Circulation, included a cohort of more than 200,000 doctors and nurses for up to 30 years. The participants were administered periodic physical examinations and required to complete questionnaires on diet and behavior, including their coffee habits.

The team controlled for age, alcohol consumption, BMI, and other health and diet factors.

According to the results, when compared with abstainers, nonsmokers who drank a cup of coffee a day had a 6% reduced risk of death; one to three cups a day, an 8% reduced risk; three to five cups a day, a 15% reduced risk; and more than 5 cups a day, a 12% reduced risk.

Additionally, coffee drinking was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, neurological diseases, and suicide, although not from cancer.

Furthermore, there was no link found in smokers, primarily since death from smoking-related causes overshadows the positive effect of coffee drinking.

Despite encouraging results, Ming emphasized, “Our study is observational, so it’s hard to know if the positive effect is causal or not.”