How Drinking Coffee Can Increase Your Longevity

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While water is the most consumed beverage frequently, coffee comes close behind, with 66 percent of Americans drinking it daily. Coffee may be the second most popular drink among Americans due to its ability to reduce fatigue and boost alertness in the morning,

Significant interest has been placed on modifiable lifestyle risk factors, including the safety of coffee, due to rising public awareness of the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Up to  80 percent of medical professionals previously advised patients with CVD to avoid coffee. Recent observational studies that indicate both the safety and positive impact of coffee consumption on the incidence of arrhythmia and CVD prevention have challenged this myth.

One of these studies is the research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the ESC.1. By contrasting the effects of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, the study seeks to provide some mechanistic insights into the function of caffeine on cardiovascular (CV) outcomes.

What The Research Says

Although observational studies have shown that coffee has positive health effects, the study noted a scarcity of focused research examining the effects of various coffee subtypes on complex clinical outcomes like arrhythmia, CVD, and mortality. Caffeine, the primary biological agent in coffee, receives much attention, but there are more than 100 other biologic molecules.

By examining the relationships between coffee kinds and incident arrhythmias, cardiovascular illness, such as coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, ischemic stroke, and death using data from the UK Biobank, which recruited participants between the ages of 40 and 69, the study intends to fill a research gap.  

At baseline, none of the 449,563 people the researchers recruited had arrhythmias or other cardiovascular disorders. There were 55.3 percent women and a median age of 58. Participants completed questions regarding their daily coffee intake and preference for instant, ground, or decaffeinated coffee. The participants were then divided into six categories depending on their daily coffee intake: none, less than one, one, two to three, four to five, and more than five cups. 

The participants’ numbers per distribution are as follows:

  • 198,062 (44.1%) individuals reported drinking instant coffee
  • 82,575 (18.4%) ground coffee and 
  • 68,416 (15.2%) decaffeinated coffee regularly
  • 100,510 (22.4%) non-coffee drinkers for the comparison group

After correcting for other factors, including age, sex, race, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, smoking status, and tea and alcohol consumption, coffee drinkers and non-drinkers were matched for arrhythmias, CVD, and death. Medical and death data were used to derive information regarding the results. 12.5 years, on average, were spent in follow-up.

Based on their analysis, the researcher found that:

  • Twenty-seven thousand eight hundred nine individuals (6.2%) died during follow-up.
  • Coffee of all variations has been associated with a decrease in fatalities of all kinds. 
  • The most significant risk reduction is found with two to three cups per day, which, compared to no coffee drinking, was linked with a 14%, 27%, and 11% lower likelihood of death for decaffeinated, ground, and instant preparations, respectively.
  • 43,173 (9.6%) participants were found to have the cardiovascular disease during follow-up.
  • Every coffee subtype was linked to a decrease in the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. 
  • For decaffeinated, ground, and instant coffee, two to three cups per day was linked with a 6%, 20%, and 9% lower risk of CVD than abstaining from coffee. During follow-up, 30,100 (6.7%) subjects had arrhythmias identified.
  • A minimized risk of arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation was related to ground and instant coffee but not decaffeinated. The lowest risks were found with 4 to 5 cups of ground coffee and 2 to 3 cups of instant coffee per day, with 17percent and 12 percent lower risks versus non-drinkers.

In sum, drinking 2-3 cups per day of instant, ground, and decaffeinated coffee was significantly related to a lower incidence of CVD and mortality rates. Caffeinated coffee, but not decaffeinated coffee, was found to reduce arrhythmia. All forms of mild-moderate coffee use should be encouraged and seen as a healthy lifestyle component.

The study’s results support the positive links with regular coffee consumption in recent population studies. Coffee use at mild-moderate levels considerably lowers the risk of atrial fibrillation, proving that it is not as harmful to your health as most people believe. How coffee is consumed will significantly impact one’s health outcome. As a result, it’s crucial always to be aware of how much coffee you consume and ensure you’re only getting what your body requires.

Journal Reference

Chieng, D., Canovas, R., Segan, L., Sugumar, H., Voskoboinik, A., Prabhu, S., Ling, L. H., Lee, G., Morton, J. B., Kaye, D. M., Kalman, J. M., & Kistler, P. M. (2022). The impact of coffee subtypes on incident cardiovascular disease, arrhythmias, and mortality: Long-term outcomes from the UK Biobank. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurjpc/zwac189 

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