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Coffee Drinkers Might Live Longer
Date:6/16/2008

ps of caffeinated coffee daily had a 25 percent lower risk of death from heart disease during the follow-up (from 1980 to 2004) than non-drinkers. Women also had an 18 percent lower death risk from a cause other than cancer or heart disease compared with non-coffee drinkers.

For men, drinking two to three cups of caffeinated coffee daily was a "wash" -- not associated with either an increased or a decreased risk of death during the follow up, from 1986 to 2004.

The lower death rate was mainly due to a lower risk for heart disease deaths, the researchers found, while no link was discovered for coffee drinking and cancer deaths. The relationship did not seem to be directly related to caffeine, according to the researchers, since those who drank decaf also had a lower death rate than those who didn't drink either kind of coffee.

In the past, studies have come up with mixed results on the health effects of coffee, with some finding coffee increased the risk of death and others not.

More recently, research has found coffee drinking linked with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers, and preventing the development of cardiovascular disease, Lopez-Garcia said.

The strength of her current study, she said, includes the large number of participants and long follow-up period.

While the study is interesting, it does have its shortcomings, said Dr. Peter Galier, an internal medicine specialist, former chief of staff at Santa Monica UCLA and Orthopedic Hospital and associate professor of medicine at the University of California Los Angeles' David Geffen School of Medicine.

Self-reporting is one shortcoming, he said, because people may have under- or over-reported their coffee consumption, for instance.

"I think what this study tells us is not so much that coffee is the answer to everything," he said. But, rather, that some compounds, such as the antioxidants found in coffee, may be healthy.
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