New study published concerning the association between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality.

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A new study1, published by Mayo Clinic Proceedings, has investigated the association between coffee consumption and the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality. Over an average 16-year follow up, results highlighted a 21% increased mortality rate in those drinking more than 28 cups of coffee a week, with a greater than 50% increased mortality risk in both men and women younger than 55 years of age. The results, however, did not demonstrate any association between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality among older men and women. Further, neither did they find any significant effects on cardiovascular mortality, irrespective of age group or level of consumption.

Whilst this new study adds to the body of research on coffee and health, these results are not supported by recent data from a meta-analysis and systematic review, published earlier this month2. The meta-analysis assessed 23 studies and concluded that coffee consumption is, on the contrary, inversely related to the risk of mortality from all causes.

Caution should thus be taken when interpreting the results, especially as external factors could play a role. The paper found that those who consumed higher amounts of coffee were more likely to smoke and had lower levels of cardio-respiratory fitness, which could account for the results. The authors’ acknowledge this within the paper, stating: “Residual confounding may still exist even though we adjusted for all the potential confounders available in the present study. Smoking is likely to be one of the most important factors to cause residual confounding in this investigation.”

To date, the available scientific evidence does not support an unfavourable relationship between moderate coffee consumption and mortality risk. For more information on the latest research on coffee and health, click here.

References
1 Liu J. et al. (2013) Association of Coffee Consumption with All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 88:10
2 Malerba S. et al. (2013) A meta-analysis of prospective studies of coffee consumption and mortality for all causes, cancers and cardiovascular disease. European Journal of Epidemiology, published online ahead of print.

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