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Coffee lowers risk of premature death from all causes

A new study published in the European Journal of Cardiology suggests that drinking two to three cups of coffee per day may prolong your life. The research findings apply to instant, ground and decaffeinated coffee.  

“In this large, observational study, ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee were associated with equivalent reductions in the incidence of cardiovascular disease and death from cardiovascular disease or any cause,” said study co-author Professor Peter Kistler of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia. “The results suggest that mild to moderate intake of ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee should be considered part of a healthy lifestyle.”

The researchers used data from the UK Biobank to investigate the associations between coffee and arrhythmias, cardiovascular disease and death in 449,563 people between the ages of 40 and 69 years. The median age of study participants was 58, with 55.3 percent being women.  

The study participants were questioned about whether they usually drank instant, ground, or decaffeinated coffee. They were then grouped into six consumption categories ranging from zero to more than five cups a day. 

The data showed that 198,062 (44.1%) of the participants drank instant, 82,575 (18.4%) drank ground, and 68,416 (15.2%) drank decaffeinated coffee. The analysis also included 100,510 (22.4%) non-coffee drinkers as a control group. Age, sex, ethnicity and various health issues were controlled for in the study. 

Overall, 6.2 percent of participants died before follow up and 9.6 percent were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. The median follow up was 12.5 years. All types of coffee consumption were shown to lower the chances of death by any cause, with two to three cups being the most effective.

Two to three cups a day of decaffeinated, ground and instant coffee were associated with a lower risk of premature death by 14, 27, and 11 percent respectively.       

“Caffeine is the most well-known constituent in coffee, but the beverage contains more than 100 biologically active components,” said Professor Kistler. “It is likely that the non-caffeinated compounds were responsible for the positive relationships observed between coffee drinking, cardiovascular disease and survival. Our findings indicate that drinking modest amounts of coffee of all types should not be discouraged but can be enjoyed as a heart healthy behavior.”

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By Zach Fitzner, Staff Writer

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