Could more coffee lead to a longer life? Researchers think so

By Emma Jane Cash

- Last updated on GMT

iStock / XiXinXing
iStock / XiXinXing
A few extra cups of coffee have been associated with a lower risk of death, according to new research.

Spanish researchers examined the associated between coffee consumption and risk of mortality, using data from the framework of the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) Project - a long-term cohort study funded by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, the Centro de Investigación Biomedica en Red (CIBER), and the Regional Government of Navarra.

They found that people who consumed the most amount of coffee per day had a 64% lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who never or almost never consumed coffee.

Four cups a day keeps the doctors away

Adela Navarro, said Dr Adela Navarro, cardiologist at the Hospital de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain and lead researcher said that a study on coffee and mortality had not before been conducted in a Mediterranean country.

“Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages around the world,” ​she said. “Previous studies have suggested that drinking coffee might be inversely associated with all-cause mortality but this has not been investigated in a Mediterranean country”.

The study results, which were presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress last week in Barcelona, showed that participants who drank at least four cups of coffee each day had a 65% lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who never or almost never drank coffee.

Furthermore, a relationship between coffee consumption and age was also found.

Among participants who were at least 45 years old, drinking two additional cup of coffee per day was associated with a 30% lower risk of mortality during follow-up,” ​said the researchers.

However, the researchers commented that this relationship was not found to be significant among younger participants.

It was concluded that an inverse association between total coffee consumption and the risk of all-cause mortality, especially among older participants.

“Our findings suggest that drinking four cups of coffee each day can be part of healthy diet in healthy people,” ​said Navarro.

Coffee study

The study observed 19, 896 middle-aged Mediterranean participants from the SUN Project over ten years, whose average age at enrolment was 37.7 years old.

Researchers used semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaires to collect information on coffee consumption, as well as lifestyle and sociodemographic characteristics, body measurements and pre-existing health conditions.

Researchers then used Cox regression models to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for incident mortality, as well as keeping in constant contact with all participants and their families, postal authorities and the National Death Index.

It was also examined whether sex, age or adherence to the Mediterranean diet had any influence on the association between coffee consumption and mortality.

Over the course of the study, 335 participants died.

Source: European Heart Journal
Published online, doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehx502.1199
“Coffee consumption and all-cause mortality in a Mediterranean cohort: the SUN project”
Authors: A. Navarro, et al

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