A new roundtable report from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) titled ‘Coffee, caffeine, mortality and life expectancy’ highlights the potential role of coffee consumption on all-cause mortality, examining both published and yet-to-be published research to date.
Roundtable delegates including academics, healthcare professionals and dietitians from across six European countries met to discuss the most recent research into coffee and life expectancy, and the potential mechanisms behind an association with reduced risk of all-cause mortality. The roundtable, held at the Royal Society of Medicine in London, was chaired by Sian Porter RD MBDA (Consultant Dietitian and spokesperson for The British Dietetic Association, UK).
Roundtable speaker Professor Miguel Martínez-González (University of Navarra, Spain; Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health) presented unpublished original research studying a cohort of almost 20,000 participants over an average of ten years. Professor Martínez-González’s research suggests that coffee consumption at intakes of 3-6 cups of coffee a day reduces all-cause mortality. Within this cohort, there was a 22% lower risk of all-cause mortality for each two additional cups of coffee per day.
During the roundtable, potential mechanisms behind coffee consumption and reduced all-cause mortality were discussed. It was suggested that caffeine alone was unlikely to explain the effect on mortality, mentioning a potential role for polyphenols found in coffee, which may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Key research findings highlighted in the roundtable report include: Meta-analyses have suggested that coffee consumption versus no coffee consumption is associated with an up to 17% risk reduction of all-cause mortality1-6; A study by Imperial College London and IARC found that participants with the highest consumption of coffee had a lower risk of all-causes of death7; A study from the US found that participants who consumed a cup of coffee a day were 12% less likely to die compared to those who didn’t drink coffee8.
Sian Porter, Consultant Dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, UK, said: “Data on cause of death and years lived combined with life expectancy data can be a useful way to understand the general population’s health, and is research frequently examined by health organisations to help inform policy to guide people towards healthier diets and lifestyles. The growing body of research on coffee consumption and all-cause mortality presents new data for consideration, although more evidence is needed to understand the association and mechanisms behind the results.”
The current peer-reviewed body of research on coffee consumption and all-cause mortality was discussed at the roundtable in the context of how coffee may fit into a healthy diet and lifestyle. Delegates questioned how frequently healthcare professionals currently discuss coffee consumption with patients, particularly when dealing with patients at risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) or type 2 diabetes, given the known relationship between coffee consumption and these diseases.
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