Over the years, coffee has earned a bad reputation, often being maligned and associated with health problems. According to Harvard’s School of Public Health, early studies linked coffee consumption to serious conditions ranging from asthma to heart disease. As it turns out, many participants in these studies also smoked cigarettes, so an unfair connection between coffee and health was concluded.
More recent research is showing strong evidence between drinking coffee and overall improved health. We’ve already covered its potential to help reduce the risk of dementia and stroke. Now we’re taking a look at another study that suggests coffee’s positive impact on heart health and life longevity.
A study published on September 27, 2022 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology looked at habitual coffee consumption and its impact on incidents of arrhythmia, cardiovascular disease, and mortality.
The researchers tracked 449,563 participants aged 40 to 69 (median 58 years, 55.3% females) for over 10 years. The BMI, smoking and alcohol habits, and health history of participants were all taken into account to rule out potential false correlations as seen in previous studies.
Those in the study then answered a questionnaire detailing how much coffee they drank each day and whether it was instant, ground, or decaffeinated. After that, the participants were categorized into six daily intake categories: none, less than one, one, two to three, four to five, and more than five cups.
What researchers found appears to be great news for coffee lovers. Here’s the basic breakdown:
- A significant reduction in arrhythmia was found for those who drank one to five cups of either ground or instant coffee, with the lowest risks being for those who drank four to five cups of ground coffee or two to three cups of instant coffee a day. Those who drank decaffeinated coffee did not see a reduced risk of arrhythmia.
- Drinking two to three cups of ground, instant, or decaffeinated coffee were all associated with decreased risks of cardiovascular disease compared to non-drinkers.
- All causes of death were significantly reduced when consuming two to three cups of either ground, instant, or decaffeinated coffee.
Overall, all coffee-type consumption was associated with improved health (with the exception of decaf coffee and arrhythmia). Still, for those with caffeine sensitivity, this is promising news. And for most correlations, drinking two to three cups a day proved the most beneficial.
The study authors do note a few limitations to the research, including that coffee consumption was self-reported and relied on the presumption that coffee intake would remain consistent. They also noted the possibility that participants consumed more than one type of coffee over the course of the study. Additionally, the population was mainly white, so the findings may not be fully applicable to other ethnicities.
While more research would need to be done to address these limitations, the initial findings are promising for coffee loves of all types.