Higher coffee consumption linked to lower mortality in the United States

1. Higher coffee consumption was associated with lower total mortality in African American, Japanese American, Latino, and white populations.

2. Mortality trends did not differ significantly between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee consumption.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Study Rundown: Understanding the impact of coffee on overall health is critical, as coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world and in the U.S. population. Previous studies have linked coffee consumption with reduced risk of death; however, data is mostly limited to Caucasian populations. Therefore, the authors of the study aimed to evaluate the link between coffee and risk for total and cause-specific death in a non-white population cohort. Generally, it was observed that higher coffee consumption was associated with reduced risk of death in non-white populations. This study has several limitations. First, the authors could not exclude the possibility of residual or unmeasured confounding error. Additionally, coffee consumption was self-reported, which may have led to measurement error within the study. Overall, the results of the study suggest an overall mortality benefit associated with caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee consumption.

Click to read the study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine

Relevant Reading: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality

In-Depth [prospective cohort]: Participants for this study were selected from the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC), which included more than 215 000 adults aged 45 to 75 years that were enrolled between 1993 and 1996. Study outcomes included total and cause-specific mortality between 1993 and 2012. A baseline questionnaire was used at the start of the study to assess diet, lifestyle, and anthropometrics, in addition to other variables. Coffee consumption was then obtained using a quantitative food-frequency questionnaire designed for this multiethnic population. The authors observed that within this population, higher coffee consumption was associated with reduced total and cause-specific mortality. For example, compared with drinking no coffee, coffee consumption was associated with lower total mortality after adjustment for smoking and other potential confounders (1 cup per day, HR 0.88, 95%CI 0.85-0.91; 2 to 3 cups per day, HR 0.82; 95%CI 0.79 to 0.86; ≥4 cups per day, HR 0.82, 95%CI 0.78 to 0.87; p < 0.001 for trend). Significant inverse associations were observed in all ethnic groups within the MEC, with the exception of Native Hawaiians, where the findings did not reach statistical significance.

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