Many people have seen coffee drinking as an unhealthy habit, similar to smoking and drinking that perhaps should be given up. Well, the latest Harvard Study adds to the increasing body of evidence that that’s not the case.
The Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study over a 24 year period to determine the relationship between coffee drinking and the risks of dying from heart disease, cancer or any cause.
The study showed that drinking large amounts of coffee does not increase a person’s risk for dying sooner than expected, and may actually be protective. The design of the study did not permit the researchers to be certain the coffee decreases the chances of dying sooner than expected – there might be something else that protects them.
There were 41,736 men participating in a study over the period 1986 to 2004, and 84,214 women participating in a study over the period 1980 to 2004. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire every two to four years that included questions about how frequently they drank coffee, other diet habits, smoking, and health conditions.
The researchers then compared the frequency of death from any cause, death due to heart disease, and death due to cancer among people with different coffee-drinking habits. While accounting for other risk factors, such as body size, smoking, diet and specific diseases, the researchers found that people who drank more coffee were less likely to die during the follow-up period. The researchers found no relationship between coffee drinking and cancer deaths.
For more information from the Harvard School of Public Health, see: