Coffee is the only thing that brings many of us to life in the morning, so it’s fitting that yet another research study indicates that it literally is the elixir of life. A study of a Dutch population has concluded that coffee drinkers with a history of heart disease saw a 20-30 percent lower risk of mortality from cardiovascular-related illnesses compared to their non-coffee-drinking peers.
Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study included health and lifestyle data from approximately 4,300 participants between the ages of 60-80 years old. Participants must have had a heart attack within ten years of joining the study. A vast majority of the study’s participants were coffee drinkers, and most drank caffeinated coffee.
More Coffee, Less Heart Problems
The more coffee a person drank, the lower his or her risk of dying of heart disease, ischemic heart disease, and of any cause of mortality. The health benefits of coffee weren’t limited to black, caffeinated coffee. A cup of decaf or a cup of either with all the “unhealthy” fixings — sugar, milk, cream, or creamer — also were associated with a reduced risk of mortality for each of these three causes of death among people who had previously experienced a heart attack.
Men, in particular, experienced significant reductions in mortality risk, whereas women’s mortality risk saw weaker, nonsignificant changes linked to coffee consumption.
The authors cited recent findings that supported this trend in the general population, not just those individuals with a history of cardiovascular events. Among 1.6 million people in a meta-analysis, individuals who consumed four cups of coffee each day saw a 15 percent reduction in risk for heart disease, coronary heart disease, and all causes of death. Drinking more than four cups each day did not further reduce risk.
Another study concluded that consuming two more cups each day, caffeinated or not, came with a 25 percent reduction in risk for heart disease mortality.
The protective effects of coffee upon individuals with heart disease, specifically, had previously been demonstrated by a slightly smaller study which saw a 40 percent lower risk of cardiovascular mortality among people who drank two or more cups of caffeinated coffee each day compared to people who drank one or no cups a day.
Preventing Death from Many Fronts
An extensive study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that drinking one cup of either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee each day lowered the risk of mortality from conditions like cancer and typed 2 diabetes by 12 percent. People who consumed at least three cups per day experienced an 18 percent lower risk of death from these same illnesses.
Research published earlier this year found that consuming four to five cups of coffee each day proffered the best health benefits, reducing the risks of death from chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, heart disease, influenza, pneumonia, and suicide.
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