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Drinking Coffee May be Healthy After All

It appears that moderate coffee consumption may be healthy after all. In a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, coffee consumption is associated with an overall reduced risk of death.

The study was published in the August 15, 2017 edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine. It was entitled "Association of Coffee Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality Among Nonwhite Populations” and its primary funding source was the National Cancer Institute.

The participants included 185,855 individuals from various ethnic descent age 45-75 years old at time of recruitment. The study was a prospective population-based cohort study that was started between 1993 and 1996.

The outcomes measured were total and cause specific mortality (death rate).

During this time period, coffee consumption was associated with lower risk of death in all ethnic populations studied. Native Hawaiians, however, did not reach statistical significance in the lower risk of death. Overall, however, the trend toward a lower risk of death was very significant with a P value <0.001.  The trends between caffeinated and decaffeinated were similar.

The improvement in death rates was observed for patients with several diseases including heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease. Improved overall risk of death was also noted in individuals who did not report having a chronic disease.

The researchers found that individuals drinking one cup of coffee a day  had a “hazard ratio” for death from all causes that was 9-15% less than non-coffee drinkers. Individuals drinking 2-3 cups of coffee per day had a 14-21% improvement. Those drinking > 4 cups per day showed a 13-22% improvement.

The authors of this study concluded that:

"Higher consumption of coffee was associated with lower risk for death in African-Americans, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and whites."

Park S, Freedman ND, Haiman CA, Le Marchand L, Wilkens LR, Setiawan VW. Association of Coffee Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality Among Nonwhite Populations. Ann Intern Med. 2017;167:228–235. doi: 10.7326/M16-2472
About the Author

Dr. John B. Adams is board certified in Pain Management by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians. With almost 2 decades of experience, he offers patients access to state-of-the-art pain management, emphasizing a multidisciplinary approach to pain management utilizing precision injections, neuromodulation technology, physical therapy, behavioral medicine and judicious use of medications including help with patients titrating off opiates (narcotic pain medications).

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