Drinking two to three cups of coffee a day is associated with a longer lifespan and lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to avoiding coffee. This is according to new research published on September 27 at European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The longevity increase results applied to ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee varieties.
“In this large observational study, ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee were associated with equivalent reductions in the incidence of cardiovascular disease and death from cardiovascular disease or any cause,” said study author Professor Peter Kistler . He is an international leader in cardiac arrhythmia research at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia. “The results suggest that light to moderate intake of ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee should be considered part of a healthy lifestyle.”
All types of coffee were linked to a reduction in death from any cause in the study. The greatest risk reduction was seen with two to three cups a day, with ground coffee providing the greatest benefit. Drinking two to three cups of ground coffee per day was associated with a 27% lower likelihood of death and a 20% reduced likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
Before this, there was little information about the impact of different coffee preparations on heart health and survival. This study therefore examined the associations between types of coffee and incident arrhythmias, cardiovascular disease and death using data from the UK Biobank, which recruited adults aged 40–69 years. Cardiovascular disease consisted of coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure and ischemic stroke.
The study included 449,563 participants free of arrhythmias or other cardiovascular disease at baseline. The average age of the participants was 58 years and 55.3% were women. Participants filled out a questionnaire, which asked how many cups of coffee they drank each day and whether they usually drank instant, ground (such as cappuccino or filter coffee), or decaffeinated coffee. In addition, they were grouped into six categories of daily intake, consisting of none, less than one, one, two to three, four to five, and more than five cups per day. The usual type of coffee was instant in 198,062 (44.1%) participants, ground in 82,575 (18.4%) and decaffeinated in 68,416 (15.2%). Non-coffee drinkers, who served as the comparison group, made up 100,510 (22.4%) of the participants.
Coffee drinkers were compared with non-drinkers for the incidence of cardiovascular disease, arrhythmias, and death, after adjusting for age, ethnicity, sex, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, obstructive sleep apnea, and consumption of tea and alcohol. Outcome information was obtained from medical records and death records. The mean follow-up was 12.5 years.
A total of 27,809 (6.2%) participants died during follow-up. All subtypes of coffee were associated with a reduction in death from any cause. The greatest risk reduction was seen with two to three cups a day, which compared to no coffee drinking was associated with a reduced likelihood of death of 14%, 27% and 11% for decaffeinated preparations, ground and instant, respectively.
Cardiovascular disease was diagnosed in 43,173 (9.6%) participants during follow-up. All types of coffee were associated with a reduction in incident cardiovascular disease. Again, the lowest risk was seen with two to three cups per day, which compared to no coffee was associated with a 6%, 20% and 9% lower likelihood of cardiovascular disease for decaffeinated, ground and instant coffee, respectively.
An arrhythmia was diagnosed in 30,100 (6.7%) participants during follow-up. Ground and instant coffee, but not decaffeinated, was associated with a reduction in arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation. Compared to non-drinkers, the lowest risks were seen with four to five cups per day for ground coffee and two to three cups per day for instant coffee, with 17% and 12% reduced risks , respectively.
Professor Kistler said: “Caffeine is the best-known constituent of coffee, but the beverage contains more than 100 biologically active compounds. It is likely that non-caffeinated compounds were responsible for the positive relationships observed between coffee consumption, disease cardiovascular and survival. Our results indicate that drinking modest amounts of coffee of all types should not be discouraged, but can be enjoyed as a heart-healthy behavior.”
Reference: “The Impact of Coffee Subtypes on Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Arrhythmias and Mortality: Long-Term Results from the UK Biobank” by David Chieng, Rodrigo Canovas, Louise Segan, Hariharan Sugumar, Aleksandr Voskoboinik, Sandeep Prabhu , Liang Han Ling, Geoffrey Lee, Joseph B Morton, David M Kaye, Jonathan M Kalman and Peter M Kistler, 27 Sep 2022, European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.