Study: Coffee may lower death risk

May 17, 2012 at 3:15 PM
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BETHESDA, Md., May 17 (UPI) -- A study of 400,000 U.S. men and women ages 50-71 found those who drank coffee -- caffeinated or decaffeinated -- had a lower risk of death, researchers say.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found those who drank coffee were less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries, accidents, diabetes and infections, although the association was not seen for cancer.

Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, and colleagues at the NCI and AARP tracked the study participants from 1995-1996 until the date they died or Dec. 31, 2008, whichever came first.

The researchers also found the association between coffee and reduction in risk of death increased with the amount of coffee consumed -- those who consumed three or more cups of coffee per day had approximately a 10 percent lower risk of death.

Coffee drinking was not associated with cancer mortality among women, but there was a slight and only marginally statistically significant association of heavier coffee intake with increased risk of cancer death among men, the researchers said.

"Although we cannot infer a causal relationship between coffee drinking and lower risk of death, we believe these results do provide some reassurance that coffee drinking does not adversely affect health," Freedman said in a statement.

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