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Coffee Drinking Linked to Lower Mortality Risk

Fewer deaths from most major causes except cancer

WEDNESDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of death from most major causes except cancer, according to a study published in the May 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Neal D. Freedman, Ph.D., from the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, Md., and colleagues analyzed mortality risk based on coffee consumption in 229,119 men and 173,141 women who, at baseline, were 50 to 71 years old and free of cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

During 14 years of follow-up, the researchers found that 33,731 men and 18,784 women died. After adjusting for age and tobacco smoking, male coffee drinkers had a lower mortality risk, with adjusted hazard ratios ranging from 0.99 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.95 to 1.04) for less than one cup a day to 0.88 (95 percent CI, 0.84 to 0.93) for four or five cups a day. A similar trend was found in women, with adjusted hazard ratios of 1.01 (95 percent CI, 0.96 to 1.07) for less than one cup a day and 0.84 (95 percent CI, 0.79 to 0.90) for four or five cups a day. Coffee drinking was inversely associated with most major causes of death, with the exception of cancer, in both men and women.

"In this large prospective study, coffee consumption was inversely associated with total and cause-specific mortality," Freedman and colleagues conclude. "Our results provide reassurance with respect to the concern that coffee drinking might adversely affect health."

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