Coffee:Have Another Cup, It’s Good For You!

A new report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that older coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death than those who don’t drink coffee, according to this article in Time Magazine. Fortunately for us there are no shortage of coffee houses and favorite coffee drinks in Salem. So if you’re searching for an excuse to have another cup, go ahead, it’s good for you.

Drink More, Live Longer?

Older coffee drinkers who really like their cup of joe appear to have a leg up in the longevity department.
By ALEXANDRA SIFFERLIN | @acsifferlin | May 17, 2012 | 2
Kicking your morning off with a cup of joe may provide more than a caffeine boost. A recent study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that older coffee drinkers — even those who swill decaf — have a lower risk of death than those who don’t drink coffee.


“Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages, both in the United States and worldwide,” the study authors write. “Since coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant, coffee drinking is not generally considered to be part of a healthy lifestyle. However, coffee is a rich source of antioxidants and other bioactive compounds.”

Previous studies have looked at the link between coffee consumption and major causes of death with varying results. ”There has been a concern that drinking coffee might increase risk of death, but I think our findings show evidence against that,” says lead researcher Dr. Neal Freedman of the division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is part of the NIH.

In the study, researchers from the NCI analyzed 229,119 men and 173,141 women aged 50 to 71 who participated in the National Institutes of Health–AARP Diet and Health Study. The participants filled out a questionnaire about their coffee intake at the beginning of the study in 1995-1996 and were followed until their death or the study’s completion in Dec. 2008. The participants were sorted into 10 coffee consumption frequency categories ranging between zero to six cups per day. The majority of the participants also indicated whether they were regular or decaf drinkers.

In relation to men and women who did not drink coffee, those who consumed three or more cups per day had approximately a 10% lower risk of death. Men who drank six or more cups of coffee per day had a 10% lower risk of death compared to men who did not drink coffee. Women who drank six or more cups a day had a 15% lower risk.

Overall, coffee drinkers were more likely to smoke cigarettes and consume red meat and alcohol than non-coffee drinkers. However, when the researchers adjusted for these risk factors, they found that drinking coffee was inversely related to death. Coffee drinkers were less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes and infections, but there did not seem to be an association with decreased cancer deaths.


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