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Coffee Consumption Is Associated with Lower Risk of Death

Coffee consumption, two to three cups a day, is linked with a longer lifespan and lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared with avoiding coffee.

A new study suggests that consuming coffee, two to three cups a day, may extend lifespan and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease compared to avoiding coffee. The study findings are published recently in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

At a Glance

  • Coffee consumption has long been known to have lower CVD mortality, but the impact of different coffee preparation was fairly unknown.
  • A recent study followed a total of 449,563 participants for 12.5 years and investigated participants’ CVD outcomes.
  • The study compared the impact of 0, <1, 1, 2–3, 4–5, and >5 cups/day of decaffeinated, ground, or instant coffee consumption with non-drinkers.
  • All coffee subtype consumption significantly reduced mortality; the most significant risk reduction was with 2–3 cups/day for the decaffeinated subtype.

Why Coffee?

Coffee-Espresso-Decaf

Coffee is one of the world’s most popularly consumed hot beverages primarily because of its caffeine content, which helps consumers feel less tired, increase energy levels, burn fat, and boost brain function involving mood, reaction time, and mental performance.

Coffee is also rich in potent antioxidant content such as chlorogenic acid (CGA), which is known to have a wide range of potential health benefits, including its anti-diabetic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-obesity impacts (Tajik, Tajik, et al. 2017).

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Does Coffee Consumption Reduce Risk of Death?

home dead risk

A high level of coffee consumption has long been known to have increased fetal death (Bech, Nohr, et al. 2005). However, the beverage does not increase mortality in men and nonpregnant women.

In fact, an inverse association between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality has been shown consistently in many prospective studies.

In particular, habitual coffee consumption is associated with lower risks for cardiovascular (CV) death and a variety of adverse CV outcomes, including coronary heart disease (CHD), congestive heart failure (HF), and stroke.

The non-caffeinated fraction was likely responsible for the positive relationships between coffee consumption, CVD outcomes, and survival.
Professor Peter Kistler
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How Much Coffee Is Good?

A strong coffee before exercise is helpful for weight loss or fat-burning efficacy (Ruiz-Moreno, Gutierrez-Hellin, et al. 2020). However, habitual consumption of coffee, 3 to 4 cups a day, which appears to be safe, is associated with the most robust beneficial effects.

A recent study has shown that moderate coffee consumption, 1.5 to 3.5 cups per day, is strongly linked with a longer lifespan in a 12.5-year follow-up period (Chieng, Canovas, et al. 2022).

The Study

In the study, the investigators at Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, compared the consumption of different coffee preparations with non-consumers and examined CVD incidence and mortality.

Coffee longevity biobank
Coffee subtypes and associations with incident arrhythmia, CVD, and mortality. Caffeinated (ground/instant). Source: Eur. J. Prev. Cardiol., zwac189

Data Collection and Analysis

The investigator used data from UK Biobank, a study group based in the United Kingdom investigating genetic and environmental factors contributing to disease development.

The study included 449,563 participants free of arrhythmias or other cardiovascular diseases and cancer at the beginning of recruitment. Participants answered several key dietary and health behavior questions—how many cups of coffee they consumed each day and what types of coffee they usually drank, instant, ground, or decaffeinated coffee—to express their coffee consumption habits.

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Outcome

After grouping the participants into six intake categories—none, less than one, one, two to three, four to five, and more than five cups per day—the study revealed that 198,062 (44.1%) participants had instant coffee, 18.4% (82,575) had ground coffee, and 68,416 (15.2%) had decaffeinated coffee.

Among the participants, 100,510 (22.4%) individuals were included in the study as comparators, non-coffee drinkers’ group.

Of the participants, 27,809 (6.2%) individuals died during the follow-up period. The study observed that all surveyed coffee types were linked with lower all-cause mortality. The most significant risk reduction was seen in groups who consumed coffee two to three cups per day.

The lower likelihood of death for decaffeinated, ground, and instant consumption was estimated to be 14%, 27%, and 11%, respectively.

Significance

Coffee is famous for its caffeine content, but the beverage contains more than 100 biologically active components, mentioned study author Professor Peter Kistler in a press release. The non-caffeinated fraction was likely responsible for the positive relationships between coffee consumption, CVD outcomes, and survival.

The findings indicate that drinking moderate amounts of all coffee subtypes should not be discouraged; it can be enjoyed as a heart-healthy behavior, said Professor Kistler.

Related Publication and Further Readings

Bech, B. H., E. A. Nohr, et al. (2005). “Coffee and fetal death: a cohort study with prospective data.” Am J Epidemiol 162(10): 983-990.

Chieng, D., R. Canovas, et al. (2022). “The impact of coffee subtypes on incident cardiovascular disease, arrhythmias, and mortality: long-term outcomes from the UK Biobank.” European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Ruiz-Moreno, C., J. Gutierrez-Hellin, et al. (2020). “Caffeine increases whole-body fat oxidation during 1 h of cycling at Fatmax.” Eur J Nutr 60(4): 2077-2085.

Tajik, N., M. Tajik, et al. (2017). “The potential effects of chlorogenic acid, the main phenolic components in coffee, on health: a comprehensive review of the literature.” Eur J Nutr 56(7): 2215-2244.

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