In a study from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute, scientists found drinking two to three cups of coffee a day is linked with a longer lifespan and a lower risk of heart disease compared with avoiding coffee.
Researchers found ground, instant, and decaffeinated coffee were linked to equivalent reductions in the incidence of heart disease and death from heart disease or any cause.
The results suggest that mild to moderate intake of ground, instant, and decaffeinated coffee should be considered part of a healthy lifestyle.
In the study, the team examined the associations between types of coffee and incident arrhythmias, heart disease, and death using data from the UK Biobank, which recruited adults between 40 and 69 years of age.
Cardiovascular disease was comprised of coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, and ischemic stroke.
The study included 449,563 participants free of arrhythmias or other cardiovascular diseases at baseline. The median age was 58 years and 55.3% were women.
During a follow up of 12.5 years, a total of 27,809 (6.2%) participants died. The team found all types of coffee were linked with a reduction in death from any cause.
The greatest risk reduction seen with two to three cups per day, which compared to no coffee drinking was linked to a 14%, 27%, and 11% lower likelihood of death for decaffeinated, ground, and instant preparations, respectively.
Cardiovascular disease was diagnosed in 43,173 (9.6%) participants during follow-up. All coffee subtypes were linked to a reduction in incident cardiovascular disease.
Again, the lowest risk was found with two to three cups a day, which compared to abstinence from coffee was associated with a 6%, 20%, and 9% reduced 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, were linked to a reduction in arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation.
Compared with non-drinkers, the lowest risks were observed with four to five cups a day for ground coffee and two to three cups a day for instant coffee, with 17% and 12% reduced risks, respectively.
The team says caffeine is the most well-known constituent in coffee, but the beverage contains more than 100 biologically active components.
It is likely that the non-caffeinated compounds were responsible for the positive links observed between coffee drinking, heart disease, and survival.
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The study was conducted by Professor Peter Kistler et al and published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
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