In a previous post, I was impressed with some of the benefits of coffee (Drink Up!). More good news for coffee drinkers: drinking coffee is associated with decreased mortality (NEJM 2012; 366: 1891-1904). Full disclosure –I don’t even drink coffee & I am not being paid by industry!
This study examined a huge population, 5,148,760 person-years (1995-2008) among 229,119 men and 173,141 women in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study with participants aged 50-71 at baseline. With age-adjusted models, if adjusted for smoking, an inverse association between coffee consumption and mortality was noted. With 6 cups per day, the hazard ratio (HR) was 0.90 for men and 0.85 for women. For 2-3 cups, the HRs were 0.94 and 0.95 respectively.
Declines in mortality were noted for heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries/accidents, diabetes and infections, but not for deaths from cancer. However, while coffee is associated with improved mortality data, a causal role for coffee consumption in reducing mortality cannot be established with this study.