Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Coffee Consumption and Risk of Mortality

How many cups are too many?

Higher consumption of total, caffeinated, and decaffeinated coffee was associated with lower risk of total mortality, and coffee consumption of more than 5 cups/day was not associated with risk of mortality, according to 3 cohorts that included 74,890 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), 93,054 women in the NHS 2, and 40,557 men. During 4,690,072 person-years follow-up, 19,524 women and 12,432 men died. Researchers also determined:

• Compared to non-drinkers, coffee consumption of 1 to 5 cups/day was associated with lower risk of mortality.

• Significant inverse associations were observed between coffee consumption and deaths due to cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, and suicide.

• No significant association between coffee consumption and total cancer mortality was found.

Citation: Ding M, Satija A, Bhupathiraju SN, et al. Association of coffee consumption with total and cause-specific mortality in three large prospective cohorts. [Published online ahead of print November 16, 2015]. Circulation. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.017341.

Commentary: This is good news for those of us who got through medical school and residency at least partly thanks to coffee. This analysis, with over 4 million person-years of observations, adds to existent positive data on coffee consumption. When the analysis looked at the relationship between increased coffee intake and decreased mortality, it was attenuated at high levels of coffee intake for the group as a whole. When the analysis was restricted to non-smokers, there was a linear association between coffee intake and decreased mortality. Other studies have shown coffee consumption to be associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and fatal prostate cancer.1Neil Skolnik, MD

1. Ding M, Bhupathiraju SN, Chen M, van Dam RM, Hu FB. Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and a dose-response meta-analysis. Diabetes Care. 2014;37:569-586.