Concerns about high caffeine intake and coffee as a vehicle for added fat and sugar have raised questions about the net impact of coffee on health. Few studies have considered exclusively decaffeinated coffee intake or use of coffee additives.
A recent study by the American Journal of Epidemiology suggested coffee drinkers, as compared with nondrinkers, had lower hazard ratios for overall mortality. This included mortality from cancer, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, respiratory disease, injuries and other causes of death including suicide. Similar findings were observed for decaffeinated coffee and coffee additives.
The studies were done on both and men and women who were followed up for an average of 18 years. The association between coffee intake and risk of total and cause-specific mortality was assessed.
No associations between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality, cancer mortality, or cardiovascular mortality were observed among women below 50 years of age. However, coffee may have differential effects on mortality before and after 50 years of age.
Coffee may reduce mortality risk by favourably affecting inflammation, lung function, insulin sensitivity, and depression.