Still Life with Coffee Pot

Coffee Drinkers Live Longer

Coffee is a great case study for the rehabilitation of a formerly “unhealthy” beverage. A new study published in Circulation adds to the momentum for discarding an increasingly dated concern about the health effects of drinking coffee. In this large observational study, coffee drinkers live longer due to reduced risk of death due to heart disease, strokes, and suicide. This was true whether they drank regular or decaf.

Naturally, this study has limitations. It’s observational, so no matter how many headlines you read saying “coffee helps you live longer,” don’t buy it. All this study shows is that the people who drink coffee live longer. There’s no cause and effect here, just speculation about it.

The other limitation is self-reports. The measure of coffee drinking in this study is what people say they do, not direct observation. Dietary self reports are notoriously unreliable because people fib in systematic ways about what they eat and drink. For example, only the healthiest people might tell the truth about drinking a lot of coffee. More speculation.

With all that said, the rehabilitation of coffee’s image is remarkable. Pretty soon coffee will have a health halo and yogurt — often with more added sugar than a candy bar — will be counted as junk food.

Go figure.

Click here to read the study and here to read more from NPR.

Still Life with Coffee Pot, painting by Vincent van Gogh / WikiArt
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November 17, 2015

2 Responses to “Coffee Drinkers Live Longer”

  1. November 17, 2015 at 7:48 am, Allen Browne said:

    “Very interesting!”

    • November 17, 2015 at 11:24 am, Ted said:

      Drink up!