Coffee Drinkers Have Lower Death Rates

coffeeIf you previously think that coffee may not be good for your general health, a recent study seems to show that there is no evident link on regular coffee drinking and increased deaths in men and women. According to an article in the Science Daily website, regular coffee drinking is in fact associated with a lower death rate from heart disease.

Coffee drinking has previously been associated with higher risk of mortality in middle aged men and women. But the data it seems on such assumptions do not support it, or at least sorely lack in verifiable data. This study done that was supported by National Institutes of Health may show signs of the opposite being true.

Researchers have been analyzing data on a Nurses’ Health Study comprising of 84,214 women that stretched from 1980 to 2004 and a Health Professionals Follow-up Study involving 41,736 men which stretched from 1986 to 2004. The said data involved having the participants answering questionnaires every two to four years concerning their diet habits, how frequent they drink coffee, smoking as well as their prevailing health conditions. The participants in the said study were known to be free from cancer and heart disease conditions from the onset.

During the span of the study, the researchers compared the frequency of death from any cause among people with different habits in coffee consumption. The researchers were able to compile from the data about 2,368 deaths due to heart disease in women along with 5,011 deaths due to cancer and 3,716 deaths due to other causes. Among the men, the study compiled 2,049 deaths due to heart disease, 2,491 deaths due to cancer and 2,348 deaths due to other causes.

While considering other risk factors such as body size, diet, smoking and presence of specific diseases, the researchers found that people who drank more coffee were less likely to die during the follow-up period. The likely reason seemed to be a lower risk of heart disease deaths among the participants who were also coffee drinkers. The researchers were not able to find any link to coffee drinking and cancer deaths.

What makes the data results even more interesting is that the relationship between coffee drinking and the lower heart disease risk is not related to caffeine. This is due to the fact that the data results showed participants who drank decaffeinated coffee also had a lower risk of heart disease deaths as compared to non-coffee drinkers in the study.

Although the study showed some considerable evidence between coffee consumption and low heart disease risk, the study was in no way designed to show evidence that coffee drinking may decrease the chances of dying sooner than expected. But researchers believe that there must be something in coffee that might be protecting coffee drinkers in some way. And since the data was derived from self-reports made by the participants themselves, the data may also show some measurement error in some way which must also be taken into consideration in assessing for ideal coffee consumption.

Source: American College of Physicians. "Coffee Drinkers Have Slightly Lower Death Rates, Study Finds." ScienceDaily 17 June 2008. 4 July 2008