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Medicine Science

Coffee Cuts Risk of Dying From Stroke and Heart Disease, Study Suggests (theguardian.com) 165

Research suggests that people who drink coffee have a lower risk of dying from a host of causes, including heart disease, stroke and liver disease. "The connection, revealed in two large studies, was found to hold regardless of whether the coffee was caffeinated or not, with the higher among those who drank more cups of coffee a day," reports The Guardian. From the report: The first study looked at coffee consumption among more than 185,000 white and non-white participants, recruited in the early 1990s and followed up for an average of over 16 years. The results revealed that drinking one cup of coffee a day was linked to a 12% lower risk of death at any age, from any cause while those drinking two or three cups a day had an 18% lower risk, with the association not linked to ethnicity.

The second study -- the largest of its kind -- involved more than 450,000 participants, recruited between 1992 and 2000 across ten European countries, who were again followed for just over 16 years on average. After a range of factors including age, smoking status, physical activity and education were taken into account, those who drank three or more cups a day were found to have a 18% lower risk of death for men, and a 8% lower risk of death for women at any age, compared with those who didn't drink the brew. The benefits were found to hold regardless of the country, although coffee drinking was not linked to a lower risk of death for all types of cancer. The study also looked at a subset of 14,800 participants, finding that coffee-drinkers had better results on many biological markers including liver enzymes and glucose control. But experts warn that the two studies, both published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, do not show that drinking coffee was behind the overall lower risk, pointing out that it could be that coffee drinkers are healthier in various ways or that those who are unwell drink less coffee.

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Coffee Cuts Risk of Dying From Stroke and Heart Disease, Study Suggests

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  • Maybe... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eneville ( 745111 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @02:10AM (#54791901) Homepage

    Maybe for each cup of coffee you drink, that's one less chance that it could have been a cola or beer, which could be considered harmful. Perhaps orange squash instead of coffee would have had the same result.

    • Beer harmful? Not really.
    • Re:Maybe... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Freischutz ( 4776131 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @02:46AM (#54792009)

      Maybe for each cup of coffee you drink, that's one less chance that it could have been a cola or beer, which could be considered harmful. Perhaps orange squash instead of coffee would have had the same result.

      Chain drinking orange squash though will cost you a fortune in dental bills and won't do your blood sugar any favours, just like the cola. Swilling a gallon of coffee each day will only give you bad breath and have you waking up in a panic at night asking who drove a tank through the house whenever a car drives past.

      • by fazig ( 2909523 )
        Given how many people put a little bit of coffee in their cup of sugar, what's the big difference?
        • Yuck.

          No, really, people do that? What a waste of coffee.

          • by fazig ( 2909523 )
            I myself am more of a Picard than Janeway when it comes to beverages. But I do like the occasional espresso, black, with an extra glass of water, and nothing else.
            From what I hear everyone's sense of taste is a bit different. Were I taste a lot of different things, someone else's experience might be dominated by the bitter aromas. At least that's what I'm hearing quote often. For instance, a "supertaster" appears to have a heightened sensitivity for bitterness, often making them picky eaters and hating all
            • So why do they still drink coffee if they have to cancel the undesired tastes with copious amounts of sugar

              I don't really drink coffee, but I have two answers.

              One, chocolate doesn't taste great to a lot of people without added sugar either - do you expect chocolate to go away? Most foods are a combination of multiple flavors. And second, caffeine.

              • by fazig ( 2909523 )
                I'm not talking about people drinking cappuccino, latte macchiato, or similar things. The analogy to what I'm observing with coffee would be buying one of those premium 90%+ cocoa chocolate bars and then drowning it in sugar. Or to use another analogy imagine serving a fine single malt, aged 18 years or more. And then people mix it with cola. Sure, people have their individual tastes, but it's kind of a waste.
                • I'm not talking about people drinking cappuccino, latte macchiato, or similar things.

                  Milk doesn't balance/mask bitterness. Sugar does. And people who like sweet milk chocolate don't always like dark chocolate, hence my comparison. They still really like sweet milk chocolate.

                  to use another analogy imagine serving a fine single malt, aged 18 years or more. And then people mix it with cola

                  So now we're talking only about premium coffee? Most people in this study are likely drinking hot-brewed garbage with their sugar - which is better compared to a Hershey's bar than any fine single-origin Guatemalan dark chocolate.

                  • by fazig ( 2909523 )
                    Depends on the milk. Regular milk already contains lactose and the volume alone dilutes the coffee. And especially the popular evaporated milk has a significantly higher sweetness. And no, not talking exclusively about premium coffee, of course in those cases it would be the worst waste. My question would be: If you don't like the taste of high cocoa chocolate, would you still buy it and eat with with sugar if other options are available? Each to their own. Some people may but it, perhaps because they don't
                    • All chocolate starts as high-cocoa chocolate. Same with coffee. There is no real substitute for chocolate if you want sweetened chocolate. The bitter and the sweet together are what make the flavor. Same with coffee and sugar for the people that like that.

                      Your lactose argument is relatively meaningless. Sucrose is over 5 times sweeter [wikipedia.org] than lactose.

                  • Guatemala? Not bad at all, but try the Madagascar, you won't regret it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Given how many people put a little bit of coffee in their cup of sugar, what's the big difference?

          Putting a ton of sugar in your coffee is to drinking coffee as drinking cold Budweiser is to drinking beer.

          You don't really like the flavor of the real thing (coffee/beer) so you try and drink something that doesn't taste like it, you're just drinking it to fit in with some preconceived notion of what your should be.

          • by gnick ( 1211984 )

            You don't really like the flavor of the real thing (coffee/beer) so you try and drink something that doesn't taste like it, you're just drinking it to fit in with some preconceived notion of what your should be.

            I don't understand why people who don't seem to like coffee disguise the hell out of it instead of just drinking something else. On Friday, one of my co-workers came in early and brewed a carafe of some gourmet fudge-pinon stuff. Damnet, if I wanted hot chocolate, I'd fucking MAKE hot chocolate.

            • Re:Maybe... (Score:4, Insightful)

              by BoxRec ( 532280 ) <<john> <at> <boxrec.com>> on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @08:30AM (#54792983) Homepage
              Yup, if you don't like genuine taste of coffee why roast the bean and then boil it in water.
        • Given how many people put a little bit of coffee in their cup of sugar, what's the big difference?

          They'd probably use less sugar but even if they don't both cola and orange juice are considerably more acidic than coffee.

    • Re:Maybe... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @03:15AM (#54792053)

      or maybe, perhaps... coffee drinkers are simply not the poor, part time, uninsured segment of the population..... they are wealthier (starbucks ain't cheap) and better employed (the office coffee pot is not something you find at part time minimum wage jobs) with health insurance..

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is probably the explanation. I remember a study from the early nineties that claimed drinking a glass of wine a day had all kinds of benefits, but it turned out the researchers had purposefully ignored what the participants were drinking instead of the wine.
      And in large quantities coffee can be really dangerous as it can cause severe blood pressure and heart rhythm problems. And that's a problem since caffeine is highly addictive and a surprisingly large fraction of coffee drinkers slowly but steadily

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      This may be true, but the evidence for coffee's statistical association with liver health and plausible mechanisms of action have been well-established for years now. You can even measure the dose-related effects of coffee consumption on markers of liver function in small-scale experiments. What's unclear is the clinical significance of those effects; but any attempt to determine that is bound to run afoul of some counfounding factors, but in context those factors aren't all that likely to be significant.

      • I don't know the link and haven't read a lot of studies, but it seems that bitter-tasting foods in general help the liver in some unknown way. Probably provides important components to chemical processes in some form.

    • by Psion ( 2244 )
      THANK YOU!

      Because I read the summary and the first thing I thought was, "Oh yuck. Now I'm going to have to start drinking coffee."
  • Great news! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Narcocide ( 102829 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @02:13AM (#54791911) Homepage

    Only 30 cups of coffee per day to reduce chance of dying by 100%!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      OK, I could probably cut back to that.

    • Third Study (to come out next year): Drinking coffee will cure your cancer.
      Fourth Study (to come out in 2 years): Drinking coffee will give you cancer.
      Fifth Study (to come out in 3 years): Trying to determine health benefits and risks of coffee will cause mental insanity.
      Sixth Study (to come out in 4 years): Revelations that the Mega-Coffee Lobbying Firm sponsored the third study and the Anti-Caffination League sponsored the fourth study
  • Causation? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OpenSourced ( 323149 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @02:19AM (#54791923) Journal

    Another study that cannot distinguish if it's causation of just correlation. A very simple explanation for the second possibility comes to mind: Perhaps people with low blood pressure like to have more coffee as it's an stimulant. And that same people will, by virtue of their low blood pressure, not of the coffee, have less risk of stroke. More complex explanations can apply.

    I understand the difficulties of making a double-blind controlled experiment in this case, but the fact that doing it right is difficult shouldn't be an excuse for doing it wrong.

    • Re:Causation? (Score:5, Informative)

      by bickerdyke ( 670000 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @03:05AM (#54792043)

      It is most likely NOT a study that can't distinguish between causation and correlation but rather a study that checks for correlation to find out if it is worth to fund the next study checking for causation. It's usually the news outlets mixing that up. A study could even be titled "Correlation between polar lights and strawberry candy production" would make it to the news as "Scientists found out Polar lights produce strawberry candy!"

      Scientists usually don't mix these two up, but finding one is the first step to find the other. Usually from correlation to causation, but not limited to that. e.g. a lab discovery may find some prior unknown chemical reaction between some food and enzyme/hormone/drug/whatever they may have found something that DOES disable/amplify something, but may still need to look for a visible correlation to find out if that effect is strong enough (or offset by something else) to be relevant.

    • by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @05:43AM (#54792377) Homepage

      Another study that cannot distinguish if it's causation of just correlation.

      Actually, it's not the studies' fault.
      Both studies only use the term "association" (as in : "we found the number to be somewhat correlated") with the first one even in the title.
      Even in the abstract the second study mentions it's only correlation, and there might even be reverse causation.

      But then you can count on the press to spin it up as "Coffee cures death !!!!11!!1!!"

      Ob. PHDcomics ref [phdcomics.com]

      • It's not the first time a study like this has been performed though.

        Coffee is one of the most studied drinks of all time. All the studies back each other up. This is far from the first study to suggest coffee improves heart health or risk of stroke avoidance.

        Either they're all making the same fundamental mistakes or coffee really does help.

        • It's not the first time a study like this has been performed though. {...} Either they're all making the same fundamental mistakes or coffee really does help.

          These specific 2 studies linked from TFS on /. specifically looked for association and nothing more.
          i.e.: you put some health marker on 1 axis (here: low incidence of cardio-vascular problems) and put coffee consumption on the 2nd axis, and then you notice that the data point line-up nicely, which (again for these 2 studies) only suggest that there is a link between the two (*a* link. Any link. Causality is just one possibility).
          these studies don't go beyond that, and clearly state this, even in the title a

          • It isn't proof, but it is evidence. Part of a growing body of evidence and a growing body of studies that say the same thing.

    • by prefec2 ( 875483 )

      The study does that just fine. It is the fucking article "for the public" which transforms a correlation into causation. The only thing which we learn from the study is. Coffee does not shorten live significantly otherwise such effect would have been visible.

    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      Ah, you'd like to volunteer for a double blind interventional study? Excellent! Assuming you are young (20 or so should do it) we will give you a mystery beverage every day, which you must drink. When you die we'll record what killed you, and open up the envelope to determine what it was we were feeding you for the last fifty or sixty years.

      Thanks for your contribution!

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2017 @03:17AM (#54792057) Homepage Journal

    those who drank three or more cups a day were found to have a 18% lower risk of death for men, and a 8% lower risk of death for women

    The SJWs are gong to be all over this. There'll probably be lawsuits.

    • by Chrisq ( 894406 )

      those who drank three or more cups a day were found to have a 18% lower risk of death for men, and a 8% lower risk of death for women

      The SJWs are gong to be all over this. There'll probably be lawsuits.

      Ban coffee! How dare it be biased against women

    • SJWs are the new boogeyman.

  • With all the positive buzz around tea, I would have liked to see another group in these studies for tea vs. coffee.

  • Here we go again.... it's the commodity market driving news circus!
    Evidenced by this latest round of "Commodity-X is good/bad for you and here-comes-the-science" news.

    Just like comments from Mario Draghi on the Euro, or the US non-farm payroll make the currency markets fly off the handle... news like this can only serve as a driver to the plebs to hold a particular position in the commodity markets.

    Seems like the coffee price has been steadily dropping recently.... market needs more sucke... *ahem* buyers!

  • "But experts warn that the two studies...do not show that drinking coffee was behind the overall lower risk, pointing out that it could be that coffee drinkers are healthier in various ways or that those who are unwell drink less coffee."

    Did they just...debunk their own damn study?!?

    It could be that people addicted to a stimulant might be healthier in various ways, or that those who are unwell drink shitty soft drinks in order to ingest the same addictive drug.

    But hey, let's attribute the benefits to coffee anyway. It's not we're gonna find this study was bought and paid for by those who would profit the most from the product being studied. I mean, that never happens, right?

    • by prefec2 ( 875483 )

      They did not debunk their own study. It is /. and other media outlets who report the results not as portrait in the publication. Typical bullshitting of the press.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      But hey, let's attribute the benefits to coffee anyway. It's not we're gonna find this study was bought and paid for by those who would profit the most from the product being studied. I mean, that never happens, right?

      Another randomly angry retard got thoroughly owned about this an hour before you posted.

  • ... or 1/8 l of red wine a day vs total abstinence. I've grown fairly skeptical over the years about these kind of studies, because they seem to go back and forth without any type of final conclusion in sight. Maybe I'm wrong this time and this is the last word on coffee. Then again, maybe not... ;-)

  • The study suggests that people who drink coffee are also people who live longer. Whether this is the effect of coffee, a socio-economic effect, or an indirect correlation, i.e., someone who drinks coffee also has a potential healthier lifestyle or even people who like coffee a in general healthier. This report on slashdot is a typical exaggeration of scientific results by media outlets, which are misleading and affect how the public see science. For example, next week another study suggests something opposi

  • But unless that translates to a lower risk of having it in the first place, I'm not sure that l'd be happy with just a lower chance of death by it, because the way I see it is that I'm going to die eventually anyway, and simply surviving a stroke doesn't mean you will have any real quality of life afterward

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Study was funded by Juan Valdez.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "The first study looked at coffee consumption among more than 185,000 white and non-white participants"

    You mean fuckin' people?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Coffee may reduce the risk of dying from heart attack and stroke, but increases the risk of dying from a host of other diseases, such as Hydroxyl Acid poisoning. Hydroxyl Acid is nasty stuff that is found in all coffee-based beverages. It is stored in the coffee beans and small amounts of it are extracted during the brewing process. If the amount of it in the human body gets too high, it can result in severe, life-threatening electrolyte imbalances such as hypokalemia.

  • Back in reality it causes high blood pressure and causes strokes and heart attacks.
  • ..and so on. Coffee is on a long list of things that almost literally every week they flip-flop on whether it's good for you or bad for you.

    You want my advice? Ignore all of it and just do what you like. The list of things that will eventually kill you is even longer. Be as healthy as you can without paying attention to all the hype, and enjoy life while you can.
  • Coffee has, by far, the most antioxidants of anything we eat or drink.

    So does it cure cancer too?

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