Two Cups of Coffee a Day Cuts Overall Risk of Dying by 10 Percent, Research Shows - HealthPop
How good is coffee for your health? For years, research has gone both ways, with some studies finding it boosts risk for heart disease, while other studies find it could be protective against breast and skin cancers.
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A large-scale study of 400,000 people offers good news for coffee-drinkers: you might just live longer.
The study is the largest ever done on the issue, and the results should reassure any coffee lovers who think it’s a guilty pleasure that may do harm. And whether it’s regular or decaf doesn’t even matter.
“There may actually be a modest benefit of coffee drinking,” said lead researcher Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute.
The study, published online in the May 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, kicked off in 1995 and involved 402,260 AARP members ages 50 to 71 who lived in California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Atlanta and Detroit. People who already had heart disease, stroke or cancer weren’t included in the study, nor were extreme eaters who ate too many or too few calories per day. The rest gave information on coffee drinking once, at the start of the study.
“People are fairly consistent in their coffee drinking over their lifetime,” so the single measure shouldn’t be a study limitation, Freedman said.
Of the participants, about 42,000 drank no coffee. Most people had two or three cups each day, and about 15,000 reported drinking six cups or more a day.
By 2008, about 52,000 of the participants had died. Compared to those who drank no coffee, men who had two or three cups a day were 10 percent less likely to die at any age. For women, it was 13 percent. Even a single cup a day seemed to lower risk by 6 percent in men and 5 percent in women.
The strongest effect seen in the study was in women who had four or five cups a day - an impressive 16 percent lower risk of death. In general, coffee drinkers were less likely to die from heart or respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, injuries, accidents or infections. No effect was seen on cancer death risk. None of the risk reductions were big numbers though, and Freedman can’t say how much extra life coffee might buy.