Drinking more coffee could prolong life, two new studies suggest. These results add to the controversial, long-running debate surrounding coffee and its health effects.
One study conducted a survey on over 520,000 people in 10 European countries – now the largest study on coffee and mortality. It found that a greater consumption of coffee could lower a person’s mortality risk significantly, CNN reports.
The second study focused on non-white populations, surveying 185,000 African-Americans, Native Americans, Hawaiians, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and whites. The results were the same: coffee increases lifespan across races.
Those who drank two to four cups a day had an 18% lower chance of mortality compared to people who did not drink coffee, the study stated. These findings are consistent with other research that looked at white populations, according to lead author Veronica Wendy Setiawan, associate professor of preventative medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine.
Given these very diverse populations, all these people have different lifestyles. They have very different dietary habits and different susceptibilities — and we still find similar patterns.
This study reveals that there is a strong biological component to the relationship between coffee and longevity. Coffee consumption appeared to be linked to lower death risks from heart disease, cancer, stroke, respiratory diseases, diabetes, and kidney disease.
The European study, on the other hand, showed an inverse association between drinking coffee and liver disease, suicide in men, cancer in women, digestive diseases and circulatory diseases. People who drank three or more cups of coffee daily had a lower mortality risk compared to those who did not drink any.
Marc Gunter, co-author on the study and reader in cancer epidemiology and prevention at Imperial College’s School of Public Health in the UK, said, “We looked at multiple countries across Europe, where the way the population drinks coffee and prepares coffee is quite different.”
He said, “The fact that we saw the same relationships in different countries is kind of the implication that it’s something about coffee rather than its something about the way that coffee is prepared or the way it’s drunk.”
The two studies were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.