Coffee, Even in Large Amounts, Is Linked to Lower Mortality

July 3, 2018

Coffee consumption is inversely associated with mortality, even in individuals who drink more than 8 cups a day and those with fast or slow caffeine metabolism, according to the results of a recent study.

While previous studies have already shown inverse associations between coffee consumption and mortality, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers, concern remains about the effects of coffee in those who drink more than 5 cups a day, and those with common genetic polymorphisms affecting caffeine metabolism.


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To explore this issue, researchers conducted a population-based study involving 498,134 adults (mean age 57 years), of whom 387,494 were coffee drinkers. The researchers used baseline demographic, lifestyle, and genetic data from the UK Biobank to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) using multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazard models. Genetic score of previously identified polymorphisms in AHR, CYP1A2, CYP2A6, and POR that have an effect on caffeine metabolism were also recorded.

Over 10 years of follow-up, 14,225 participants died. The researchers observed that coffee drinking was inversely associated with all-cause mortality, and, using non-coffee drinkers as a reference group, determined that HRs for drinking less than 1, 1, 2 to 3, 4 to 5, 6 to 7, and 8 or more cups of coffee per day were 0.94, 0.92, 0.88, 0.88, 0.84, and 0.86, respectively.

The type of coffee (instant, ground, and decaffeinated), as well as genetic caffeine metabolism score, did not appear to affect these associations.

“These findings suggest the importance of noncaffeine constituents in the coffee-mortality association and provide further reassurance that coffee drinking can be a part of a healthy diet.”

—Michael Potts


Loftfield E, Cornelis MC, Caporaso N, et al. association of coffee drinking with mortality by genetic variation in caffeine metabolism [published online July 2, 2018]. JAMA Intern Med.