WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- According to a study recently presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress, people who drink at least four cups of coffee a day have a lower risk of death than less caffeinated people.
- Participants of the study had follow-ups about their health after about 10 years to record results.
- Since the study was observational, researchers can’t actually prove that drinking coffee can prolong your life.
The researchers enlisted nearly 20,000 individuals with an average age at enrollment of 37.7 years old for the study. Participants filled out a questionnaire about how much coffee they drink, body measurements, their lifestyle and social factors, and details about past health conditions when they enter the study.
Follow-ups about the participants’ health were made after about ten years after initial enrollment. During that period, 337 of them died.
Records of the said research show that people who drink at least four cups of coffee daily were 64 percent less likely to die of any cause during that time period than less-caffeinated people.
Dr. Michael Chan, MD, an interventional cardiologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA, tells Yahoo Beauty that, “While this is an interesting study, it … doesn’t prove any causation, just correlation.” This means that, while there is a possibility that coffee may actually help in longevity, it’s also possible that people who live longer are just really coffee fanatics.
One notable study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in July found that heavy coffee drinkers had a remarkably lower risk of dying from any cause than those who were not. Also published in the same journal early this month, is a study that looked at more than 185,000 African-Americans, Native Americans, Hawaiians, Japanese-Americans, Latinos, and Caucasians, and found that coffee drinking was generally associated with a longer life. Also, people who drank two to four cups daily, especially, had an 18 percent lower risk of death compared with people who didn’t drink coffee.
Dr. David Cutler, MD, a family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA, says that “It’s much more likely that it’s association than it is causation.” He reckons that diet, lifestyle factors, and other healthy behaviors are the main reasons why most coffee drinkers live longer and not the coffee itself.
“We’ve heard so many mixed things about coffee drinking over the last decade, but many of the more recent studies have touted the many health benefits of consuming coffee,” women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, MD, says. Coffee has antioxidants essential in disease prevention. This may explain part of the link between coffee and living a longer life.