Consuming four cups of coffee each day can be part of a healthy diet in healthy people, new research suggests. Higher coffee consumption is linked with a lower risk of early death, according to research presented today at ESC Congress. The observational study in nearly 20,000 participants recommends that coffee can be part of a healthy diet in healthy people.
Does higher coffee consumption helps lower risk of early death?
“Coffee is one of the most extensively consumed beverages around the world.” The statement is said by Dr. Adela Navarro, a cardiologist at Hospital de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. “Previous studies have recommended that drinking coffee might be inversely associated with all-cause mortality but this has not been investigated in a Mediterranean country.”
The purpose of this study was to test the association between coffee consumption and the risk of mortality in a middle-aged Mediterranean cohort. The study was conducted within the context of the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) Project. A long-term potential cohort study in more than 22 500 Spanish university graduates which started in 1999.
This examination included 19,896 participants of the SUN Project, whose average age at enrollment was 37.7 years old. On entering the study, participants completed a previously authenticated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire to collect information on coffee consumption. The participant also completed the lifestyle and sociodemographic characteristics, anthropometric measurements, and previous health conditions.
Patients were followed-up for an average of ten years. Information on mortality was acquired from study participants and their families, postal authorities, and the National Death Index. Cox regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for case mortality according to baseline total coffee consumption adjusted for possible confounders.
During the ten year period, 337 participants died. The researchers found that participants who consumed at least four cups of coffee per day had a 64% lower risk. Participants had lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who never or almost never consumed coffee. There was a 22% lower risk of all-cause death for each two additional cups of coffee per day.
The researchers studied whether sex, age or adherence to the Mediterranean diet had any effect on the association between baseline coffee consumption and mortality. They observed a major collaboration between coffee consumption and age (p for interaction=0.0016). In those who were at least 45 years old, drinking two additional cups of coffee per day was associated with a 30% lower risk of mortality during follow-up (adjusted HR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.58-0.85). The association was not major among younger participants.
Dr. Navarro said: “In the SUN project we found an inverse association between drinking coffee and the risk of mortality. Particularly in people aged 45 years and above. This may be due to a stronger protective link among older participants.”
She concluded: “Our findings suggest that drinking four cups of coffee each day can be part of a healthy diet.”
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