Coffee may lower risk of death

A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests drinking coffee may actually prolong your life.

The study looked at 229,119 men and 173,141 women aged 50 to 71 over 14 years, and found that those who drink a few cups of coffee daily were less likely to die than those who abstained from it.

Coffee was found to be particularly useful in lowering one’s risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, injuries, infections and accidents.

Study participants were tracked from 1995 to 2008, using national and state disease and death registries to find out who had died, and what they passed away from.

Early into the study it seemed coffee was tied to a higher risk of death, as only 13 per cent of men and 10 per cent of women who abstained from coffee died during the study period, while 19 per cent of men and 15 per cent of women who drank six cups a day passed away. It turned out that the coffee drinkers were also more likely to smoke, drink, and eat red meat – all of which put them at a higher risk of death without factoring in the java.

Once these factors were accounted for, the results showed up favorably towards coffee’s longevity benefits.

The analysis showed that women who drink four to five cups a day lowered their overall risk by 16 per cent, while a man’s risk was lowered by 12 per cent.

For those who drink some coffee – but less than a cup a day – there was no benefit found, but those who drink it regularly saw a decrease in death risk.

Lead researcher Neal Freedman at the U.S. National Institutes of Health noted, “We know that coffee has an effect on the brain, so it’s possible that may play a role, or, it may have an effect on bone health.”

Over the years, research on the beneficial effects of coffee has had conflicting conclusions, so the study authors maintain the findings should be regarded with caution. They are still unaware which ingredients in coffee could be creating these benefits.

“It may be that there’s something that goes along with coffee-drinking that’s affecting our results that we couldn’t take into account in our analysis,” Freedman told MedPage Today.

Sources: New England Journal of Medicine, MedPage Today, National Post

Photo © Amanda Rohde

Coffee or tea?
Coffee now linked to lower cancer risk in women
Coffee perks up memory
The Zoomer Report: Caffeine and Glucose