Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. A new study suggests that high consumption of coffee may lower your risk of premature death. Previous studies have suggested that the health benefits of the drink may help lower the risk of diabetes, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and some forms of cancer. Now we have a new study – presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona, Spain – that adds to a growing body of studies hinting at coffee’s potential health benefits.

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Researchers recruited university graduates and followed them with diet and lifestyle questionnaires every two years over a 10-year period. The investigators asked the subjects about coffee intake and other lifestyle factors, such as tobacco consumption and physical activity. The researchers fathered sociodemographic information, blood samples, previous medications, and measures such as height and weight. The researchers then looked at mortality data, while controlling for factors such as age, sex, and adherence to a Mediterranean diet.

Study participants who had at least four cups of coffee every day had a 65 percent lower risk of dying from all causes, compared with those who said they never or “almost never” consumed coffee. In addition, for every two additional cups of coffee consumed daily, the risk of premature death decreased by a quarter. For those ages 45 or older, coffee seemed to have an even greater positive impact, with two additional daily cups of coffee decreasing mortality risk by 30 percent. The authors observed that “our findings suggest that drinking four cups of coffee per day can be a part of a healthy diet among health people.” I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.