Association of Coffee Consumption With Overall and Cause-Specific Mortality in a Large US Prospective Cohort Study

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Abstract

Concerns about high caffeine intake and coffee as a vehicle for added fat and sugar have raised questions about the net impact of coffee on health. Although inverse associations have been observed for overall mortality, data for cause-specific mortality are sparse. Additionally, few studies have considered exclusively decaffeinated coffee intake or use of coffee additives. Coffee intake was assessed at baseline by self-report in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Hazard ratios were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models. Among 90,317 US adults without cancer at study baseline (1998–2001) or history of cardiovascular disease at study enrollment (1993–2001), 8,718 deaths occurred during 805,644 person-years of follow-up from 1998 through 2009. Following adjustment for smoking and other potential confounders, coffee drinkers, as compared with nondrinkers, had lower hazard ratios for overall mortality (<1 cup/day: hazard ratio (HR) = 0.99 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.92, 1.07); 1 cup/day: HR = 0.94 (95% CI: 0.87, 1.02); 2–3 cups/day: HR = 0.82 (95% CI: 0.77, 0.88); 4–5 cups/day: HR = 0.79 (95% CI: 0.72, 0.86); ≥6 cups/day: HR = 0.84 (95% CI: 0.75, 0.95)). Similar findings were observed for decaffeinated coffee and coffee additives. Inverse associations were observed for deaths from heart disease, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, pneumonia and influenza, and intentional self-harm, but not cancer. Coffee may reduce mortality risk by favorably affecting inflammation, lung function, insulin sensitivity, and depression.

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