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How does coffee affect health? New research results

‘These results suggest that moderate coffee drinking should be part of a healthy lifestyle,’ says study author Professor Peter Kistler of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute in Melbourne.

The scientist analyzed the relationship between drinking various types of coffee and cases of arrhythmia, cardiovascular diseases and death. He used data from UK Biobank covering people aged 40–69. 449,563 people were taken into account, with a median age of 58 years. At the time of starting the study, none of them had been diagnosed with arrhythmia or any other cardiovascular disease. The respondents were asked how many cups of coffee they drink a day and whether it is ground coffee, instant coffee or decaffeinated coffee.

After completing the questionnaire, they were divided into 6 groups: people who did not drink coffee at all, those who drank less than 1, 1, 2-3, 4-5 and over 5 cups a day. The most common type of coffee drunk was instant coffee, which was consumed by 198,062 study participants. Then, the most popular coffee was ground coffee (82,575 people) and decaffeinated coffee (68,416 people). The 100,510 subjects who served as the control group did not drink coffee.

When comparing the data between groups, the researchers looked at risk factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, body weight, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, tea, alcohol, and smoking.

The fates of the respondents were followed on average for 12.5 years. During this time, 27,809 people died. All types of coffee have been found to be associated with lower mortality. The greatest reduction in the risk of death was among those who drank 2-3 cups of coffee a day. Compared to non-coffee drinkers, the risk of death was as high as 27%. lower among ground coffee drinkers. For decaffeinated coffee, the reduction in the risk of death was 14%, and for instant coffee – 11%.

During the study, cardiovascular disease (ischemic heart disease, heart failure and ischemic stroke were taken into account) were diagnosed in 43,173 people. Again, all types of coffee were associated with a lower risk of developing the disease, and the greatest risk reduction occurred with the consumption of 2-3 cups per day. Among ground coffee drinkers, the reduction in the risk of developing the disease was 20 percent, for instant coffee drinkers it was 9 percent, and for instant coffee lovers it was 6 percent.

Arrhythmia occurred in 30,100 people. In this case, however, the risk reduction occurred in those who drink ground and instant coffee, but not decaffeinated coffee. Compared to non-coffee drinkers, the greatest risk reduction (by 17%) occurred with consumption of 4-5 cups of ground coffee and 2-3 cups of instant coffee (by 12%).

“Caffeine is the best known active ingredient in coffee, but this drink contains over 100 active ingredients. It is very possible that factors other than caffeine are responsible for the correlation between coffee consumption, cardiovascular disease and life expectancy. We should not discourage coffee drinking, but rather enjoy it as part of a healthy life, ‘says Professor Kistler.

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