Posted on Mar 13, 2013, 10 a.m.
A large study of 500,000 older adults followed for about 12 years reveals that as coffee drinking increases, the risk of death decreases.
Assessing parameters of coffee drinking and health among subjects enrolled in the NIH AARP Diet and Health Study, ages 50 to 71 years at the study’s start in 1995/1996, Neal Freedman, from the US National Cancer Institute (NCI; Maryland, USA), and colleagues examined the relationship between coffee drinking and risks of total and cause-specific death. Following the subjects until 2008, the team found was that over the course of follow-up, there was an inverse association between coffee drinking and the risk of death overall and with a number of different causes as well. It was a modest association, and at the top categories of coffee drinking, there was only a 10% to 15% reduction in the risk of dying during follow-up. The association tended to get stronger as participants drank more coffee, though the result was very similar for those who drank two or three cups per day and those who drank more than that. The top category we had was six or more cups (8-oz/cup) per day. The study authors conclude that: “In this large prospective study, coffee consumption was inversely associated with total and cause-specific mortality.”
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“Epidemiology of Caffeine Consumption and Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality: An Interview with Neal D. Freedman. “ Journal of Caffeine Research. December 2012, 2(4): 153-158. Freedman ND, Park Y, Abnet CC, Hollenbeck AR, Sinha R. “Association of coffee drinking with total and cause-specific mortality.” N Engl J Med. 2012 May 17;366(20):1891-904. Erratum in: N Engl J Med. 2012 Jul 19;367(3):285.