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“Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world and in the U.S. population,” Song-Yi Park, PhD, from the University of Hawai’i Cancer Center, and colleagues wrote. “Therefore, even a small health-promoting effect of coffee could have a substantial impact on public health.”
The first study, focusing on nonwhite populations in the United States, included 185,855 blacks (17%), Native Hawaiians (7%), Japanese Americans (29%), Latinos (22%) and whites (25%) who were aged between 45 and 75 years at the time of recruitment from 1993 to 1996. Park and colleagues evaluated coffee consumption via a validated food-frequency questionnaire, which was updated approximately every 5 years. A total of 16% of participants reported not drinking coffee, 31% drank one cup a day, 25% drank two to three cups a day, 7% drank four or more cups a day and 21% had irregular coffee drinking habits. Participants were followed until 2012.
During an average follow-up of 16.2 years, 58,397 deaths occurred. After adjusting for smoking and other potential confounders, the researchers identified an association between coffee intake and lower total mortality among those who drank one cup per day (HR = 0.88; 95% CI, 0.85-0.91); two to three cups per day (HR = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.79-0.86); or four or more cups per day (HR = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.78-0.87]). Participants who drank one cup of coffee per day and two to three cups of coffee per day had a 12% and 18%, reduced risk of death, respectively. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee produced similar trends, according to the researchers.
The inverse association between coffee consumption and mortality was significant for all ethnic groups studied except Native Hawaiians. Furthermore, never-smokers, participants younger than 55 years and those without chronic disease also demonstrated an inverse relationship. Intake of coffee consumption lowered the risk for death due to heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.
“Our findings support the recent dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which indicate that moderate coffee consumption can be integrated into a healthy diet and lifestyle, by confirming an inverse association with mortality and suggesting that association’s generalizability to different racial/ethnic groups,” Park and colleagues concluded.
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