Coffee has gotten a bad rap over the years but research published this week may change that. The study was conducted at the National Institute of Health in Rockville, Maryland and it found older people who drink coffee may be lengthening their lives.
The study, titled Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and used data compiled on 400,000 older Americans. Results found drinking more than one cup of coffee each day made people less likely to die over the following 14 years than people who either did not drink coffee or did not drink it regularly.
Coffee drinkers were less likely to die, the study found, from accidents, heart disease and stroke, infections and injuries, but not from cancer. The data used was taken from health and nutrition forms filled out by people between the ages of 50 and 71 in 1995 and 1996. When compiling their data and reaching their conclusions, the researchers took into account other factors, such as alcohol consumption, smoking and diet.
Study finds coffee drinkers may live longer
Lead researcher Neal Freedman said they were not able to determine why coffee drinkers were found to have longer lives. The numbers were significant, with men who drank two to six cups of coffee a day being found to have a 10 percent less likely chance of dieing in the subsequent 14 years than men who drank a little or no coffee. Women who drank two to six cups had a 16 percent less chance of dieing over the next 14 years.
Freedman said that the study focused only on older people and from the point at which they took part in data collection. To confirm results and help determine what ingredients in coffee may be responsible for the health benefits more study is needed, he said. He did not advise changing coffee drinking habits based upon their findings.
The study does not make a distinction between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.