Thursday, June 19, 2008
Middle-aged adults who enjoy a few cups of coffee every day apparently have a lower risk of dying from heart disease than people who don't drink coffee, researchers reported Monday. The findings, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, come from two studies that followed nearly 128,000 U.S. health professionals for more than two decades. The researchers found that men and women who regularly drank a few cups of coffee each day were slightly less likely to die during the study period -- mainly due to a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Among women, those who drank at least two to three cups per day were one-quarter to one-third less likely to die of heart problems or stroke than women who did not drink coffee. For men, a protective effect emerged only with higher levels of coffee consumption -- at least four to five cups of coffee per day.
The findings do not prove that coffee makes for a healthier heart, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Esther Lopez-Garcia of the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain. Nontheless, they write, the results are "consistent" with the beneficial health effects other research has attributed to coffee.