Warning on death risk from too much coffee does not
apply to senior citizens
Young people under 55 should avoid heavy coffee consumption, suggests new study
published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings
By Tucker Sutherland, editor, SeniorJournal.com
of the news outlets reporting on this research - television news
in particular - have made little or no mention of the important
finding that this
warning does not apply to those over age 54.
Please email this story to your senior friends to let them know
it does not apply to them.
August 19, 2013 – If you have been hearing word of a new study that has
found the favorite drink of senior citizens - coffee - increases your
risk of death, just relax. This is not true for seniors, it only applies to
those youngsters who have not reached their 55th birthday.
Nearly 400 million cups of coffee are consumed every day in America and
research has found it to be the most popular drink for senior citizens.
And, most senior coffee fans are accustomed to reading research reports
that have found one benefit after another for those who drink coffee.
Now, however, there is a
shocker published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings that says drinking large amounts of coffee may be bad for
those under 55.
study of more
than 40,000 individuals found a statistically significant 21% increased
mortality in those drinking more than 28 cups of coffee a week and death
from all causes, with a greater than 50% increased mortality risk in
both men and women younger than 55 years of age. Investigators warn that
younger people in particular may need to avoid heavy coffee consumption.
Good news may warrant changes to current heart failure prevention guidelines of American Heart Association that say coffee drinking
may be risky for heart patients; bit of bad news - excess coffee bad! -
June 27, 2012
The good news is they
no adverse effects were found in heavy coffee drinkers aged over 55.
Drinking coffee has become a normal daily routine for large numbers of
people worldwide. According to the latest National Coffee Drinking Study
from the National Coffee Association, more than 60% of American adults
drink coffee every day, consuming on average just over three cups a day.
Coffee has long been suspected to contribute to a variety of chronic
health conditions, although earlier studies on coffee consumption in
relation to deaths from all causes and deaths from coronary heart
disease are limited, and the results are often controversial.
multicenter research team investigated the effect of coffee consumption
on death from all causes and deaths from cardiovascular disease in the
Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study (ACLS) cohort, with an average
follow-up period of 16 years and a relatively large sample size of over
40,000 men and women.
Between 1979 and 1998, nearly 45,000 individuals aged between 20 and 87
years old participated and returned a medical history questionnaire
assessing lifestyle habits (including coffee consumption) and personal
and family medical history. The investigators examined a total of 43,727
participants (33,900 men and 9,827 women) in their final analysis.
During the 17-year median follow-up period there were 2,512 deaths (87.5%
among men and 12.5% among women), 32% of these caused by cardiovascular disease.
Those who consumed higher amounts of coffee (both men and women) were
more likely to smoke and had lower levels of cardiorespiratory fitness.
participants were followed from the baseline examination to date of
death or until December 31, 2003. Deaths from all causes and deaths from
cardiovascular disease were identified through the National Death Index
or by accessing death certificates.
Younger men had a trend towards higher mortality even at lower
consumption, but this became significant at about 28 cups per week where
there was a 56% increase in mortality from all causes. Younger women who
consumed more than 28 cups of coffee per week also had a greater than
2-fold higher risk of all-cause mortality than those who did not drink
results did not demonstrate any association between coffee consumption
and all-cause mortality among older men and women. It is also important
to note that none of the doses of coffee in either men or women whether
younger or older had any significant effects on cardiovascular
Senior investigator Steven H. Blair, PED, of the Department of
Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Arnold School of Public Health,
University of South Carolina.
Coffee is a complex mixture of chemicals consisting of thousands of
components. Recent research has found that coffee is one of the major
sources of antioxidants in the diet and has potential beneficial effects
on inflammation and cognitive function.
However, according to the report, it is also well-known
that coffee has potential adverse effects because of caffeine's
potential to stimulate the release of epinephrine, inhibit insulin
activity, and increase blood pressure and levels of homocysteine.
"Thus, all of these mechanisms could counterbalance one another.
Research also suggests that heavy coffee drinkers may experience
additional risk through potential genetic mechanisms or because of
confounding through the deleterious effects of other risk factors with
which coffee drinking is associated," say lead authors, Junxiu Liu, MD,
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and Xuemei Sui, MD, MPH,
PhD, Department of Exercise Science, both at the Arnold School of Public
Health, University of South Carolina.
"Therefore, we hypothesize that
the positive association between coffee and mortality may be due to the
interaction of age and coffee consumption, combined with a component of
genetic coffee addiction."
investigators suggest that younger people in particular should avoid
heavy coffee consumption of more than 28 cups a week or four cups in a
typical day. However, they emphasize that further studies are needed in
different populations to assess details regarding the effects of
long-term coffee consumption and changes in coffee consumption over time
on all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality.
Leading expert Carl J. Lavie, MD, of the Department of Cardiovascular
Diseases, Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans, and a co-author of this
study, explains that "There continues to be considerable debate about
the health effects of caffeine, and coffee specifically, with some
reports suggesting toxicity and some even suggesting beneficial
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