Can coffee really increase life expectancy?
There is an increasing body of research suggesting that coffee consumption has a positive impact on human health. Researchers have now found that increased coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of premature death.
In their current research, the scientists at the Hospital de Navarra in Spain found that increased consumption of coffee can reduce the risk of premature death. The doctors published the results of their study at the ESC (European Society of Cardiology) congress in Barcelona.
Doctors are studying the effects of coffee consumption on people in the Mediterranean
The experts analyzed almost 20,000 participants for their investigation. "Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages around the world," says author Dr. Adela Navarro, a cardiologist at the Hospital de Navarra. Previous research had already indicated that drinking coffee appears to have an effect on mortality. The aim of the current study was to examine the relationship between coffee consumption and the risk of mortality in a population in the Mediterranean.
Doctors examined the data of 19,896 participants
The study was carried out as part of the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) project. This long-term cohort study started in 1999. The current analysis included 19,896 participants in the SUN project, whose average age at entry was 37.7 years. The subjects had to fill out a questionnaire so that the experts could collect information about coffee consumption, lifestyle, socio-demographic characteristics, anthropometric measurements and previous health problems.
Two additional cups of coffee a day reduce the risk of all-cause mortality by 22 percent
The patients were medically monitored for an average of ten years. A total of 337 participants died during the ten-year period of medical surveillance, the scientists say. The researchers found that participants who consumed at least four cups of coffee a day had a 64 percent lower risk of mortality compared to people who never drink coffee. There was a 22 percent lower overall mortality risk for two additional cups of coffee a day, the researchers explain.
Older people benefit more from coffee consumption
The experts also examined whether gender, age, or adherence to the Mediterranean diet had an impact on the association between coffee consumption and mortality. They observed a significant interaction between coffee consumption and age. When the participants were at least 45 years old, two additional cups of coffee a day caused those affected to have a 30 percent lower risk of mortality, the authors say. Whereas this connection was no longer significant for younger participants.
Four cups of coffee a day can be part of a healthy diet
We found an inverse association between drinking coffee and the risk of mortality, especially in people aged 45 and over, explains the author Dr. Navarro. This could be due to a stronger protective effect among older participants, the expert added. Our results suggest that drinking four cups of coffee every day can be part of a healthy diet in healthy people, the researchers conclude. (as)