Combs Spouts Off

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Drink more coffee to live longer

Posted by Richard on January 2, 2008

Did you make any health-related New Year's resolutions, like eating better and working out more? You might want to add drinking more coffee. According to a Finnish study, you'll live longer. The researchers followed about 800 elderly men and women (born in 1920 or earlier) from 1991-2 to 2005. During that period, over 600 of the subjects died. The mortality rate was inversely correlated with coffee consumption (emphasis added): 

For total mortality from all causes, and mortality from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other or unknown causes, there was an association observed between the number of cups of coffee consumed and a decrease in the risk of death. Compared with drinking one to two cups coffee per day, each added cup lowered the risk of mortality by an average of 4 percent. When the follow-up period was divided into five year periods, the strength of coffee’s effect appeared to diminish during the final years of the study, although the researchers add that there was not enough evidence to conclude a constant linear decrease.

“The present study in a representative sample of older adults strengthens the findings in some previous studies among middle-aged individuals of a beneficial effect of moderate or heavy coffee consumption on the risk of death,” the authors conclude. “We expect results from more detailed studies in larger study populations to provide more insight about the advantages and disadvantages of coffee consumption, and to set critical recommendations of optimal consumption with regard to health.”

You could wait for more research, I suppose. But a number of studies have already provided compelling evidence of the health benefits of coffee. So go ahead and have an extra cup of java. Or two. Or three. And pour grandpa a cup, too.

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