Why Coffee Drinkers will OUTLIVE those that Abstain

Why Coffee Drinkers will OUTLIVE those that Abstain


This is a review of research, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, that analyzed just under half a million people who drink “two to three” cups of coffee each day.

Longevity Increase?

While the research doesn't claim that drinking more coffee adds years to your life (an increase in lifespan), it's nevertheless an intriguing association that scientists are keen to investigate further as it does point towards an uptick in healthspan. 

It's also important to weigh-up the findings against previous studies that link some brain shrinkage, and an increased risk of dementia, for those who consume more than 6 cups of coffee a day.


Professor Peter Kistler of the Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute in Australia said, "In this large, observational study, ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee were associated with equivalent reductions in the incidence of cardiovascular disease and death from cardiovascular 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."

The Cohort

The cohort was drawn for the UK’s Biobank Study, this is a large-scale database containing over half a million records on individuals' genetics and health, and lifestyle markers.

In this study, the sample provided an average of 12 and a half years' worth of health and dietary information on 449,563 people with a median age of 58.

The Protocol

The participants were grouped according to their daily coffee consumption. The groups were split into types of coffee they usually drank; so ground coffee, instant coffee and decaffeinated - with just over 100,000 people reporting that they didn't drink coffee at all.

Confounding Factors

As part of the analysis, the researchers also factored in confounding factors such as age, sex, ethnicity, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, smoking status, and tea and alcohol consumption.

The Analysis

The team computed the differences in heart health outcomes, and death from any cause, for all coffee drinkers over the study period of 12 and a half years, this was compared to those who didn't drink coffee. 

Drinking instant, ground and even decaffeinated coffee were all associated with a lower likelihood of death.

Those who drank two or three cups of coffee a day had better odds of living longer than those who didn't drink any coffee at all.


Professor Peter Kistler went on to say, "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 relationships observed between coffee drinking, cardiovascular disease and survival."

Heart Conditions

Digging deeper, the team found coffee consumption was also linked with the development of cardiovascular disease, with the lowest risk seen amongst those who consumed two to three cups a day.

There were slightly different findings associated with the risk of arrhythmia or an abnormal heart rhythm too; here ground and instant coffee, but not decaffeinated, were linked to a lower likelihood of developing the condition. 

Once again, just a couple of cups each day seemed to be the sweet spot.


That this study covered so many people, over such an extended period, only adds weight to the link between coffee drinking and longevity, however, there are some limitations that need to be considered.

The database records reflected predominantly Caucasian participants, making it harder to generalize the findings across a more ethnically diverse population. Coffee drinking was also self-reported rather than monitored, and the database doesn't factor in changes in coffee consumption or coffee type over time.


Professor Kistler closed by saying, "Our findings indicate that drinking modest amounts of coffee of all types should not be discouraged, but can be enjoyed as a heart healthy behavior."

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