Study links coffee with longevity, lower risk of heart disease

Drinking two to three cups of coffee a day is linked to longer lifespan and lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared with non-coffee drinkers, Science Daily reported Sept. 26.

Researchers followed nearly 450,000 people free of arrhythmias and other cardiovascular diseases. After more than 12 years, they found daily coffee consumption was associated with lower rates of death and cardiovascular disease.

The results were consistent regardless of whether participants consumed ground, instant or decaffeinated coffee.

The study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, noted arrhythmia was the only exception to its findings. Reduction in arrhythmias was associated only with ground and instant coffee, but not decaffeinated.

"Caffeine is the most well-known constituent in coffee, but the beverage contains more than 100 biologically active components," study author and professor Dr. Peter Kistler of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute, based in Melbourne, Australia, said in the report. "It is likely that the noncaffeinated compounds were responsible for the positive relationships observed between coffee drinking, cardiovascular disease and survival. Our findings indicate that drinking modest amounts of coffee of all types should not be discouraged but can be enjoyed as a heart healthy behavior."

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