Of course with so many coffee drinkers across the world, such research tends to make headlines in popular media, which has been aswirl in coffee-and-health-related headlines lately for two reasons: 1) There is in reality more research coming out about the potential health benefits of coffee and its relationship to mortality; and 2) The recent California Proposition 65 ruling caused a significant backlash from the coffee industry and even the public health community, making headlines throughout the nation.
Yet today’s study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, is a significant addition to the research pool both in terms of scope and and focus. Firstly, the study involved a half a million people from the UK Biobank, a 10-year population-based study that ran from 2006 to 2016. Volunteers for the study ranged from 38 to 73 years old, with a mean age of 57. Coffee habits, complete smoking data and mortality rates for the study participants were taken over that 10 year period.
From that huge sample size, the study found that coffee drinking had a pronounced inverse association with mortality, meaning fewer participants who regularly consumed coffee died during the study period.
The second main way in which the study builds upon past research is that it took into account mortality incidence with respect to genetic differences in participants’ metabolizing of caffeine. Additionally, it took into account a wide range of drinking habits, from no caffeine up to eight cups of coffee per day, while also exploring associations with decaf and instant coffee.
In general, the study found a 12 percent reduced risk of all- or any-cause mortality during the 10-year period. That inverse association was also found with decaf and instant coffee.
From a consumer perspective, it’s a win-win for coffee drinkers, even for those who may prefer decaf for all or part of the day due to caffeine sensitivity.