Coffee Drinking Is Associated With Increased Longevity

Summary: Drinking at least two cups of coffee a day, even instant coffee was associated with increased longevity and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Source: European Society of Cardiology

Drinking two to three cups of coffee a day is linked with a longer lifespan and lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared with avoiding coffee, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the ESC. The findings applied to ground, instant and decaffeinated varieties.

“In this large, observational study, ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee were associated with equivalent reductions in the incidence of cardiovascular disease and death from cardiovascular disease or any cause,” said study author Professor Peter Kistler of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia.

“The results suggest that mild to moderate intake of ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee should be considered part of a healthy lifestyle.”

There is little information on the impact of different coffee preparations on heart health and survival.

This study examined the associations between types of coffee and incident arrhythmias, cardiovascular disease and death using data from the UK Biobank, which recruited adults between 40 and 69 years of age.

Cardiovascular disease was comprised of coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure and ischaemic stroke.

The study included 449,563 participants free of arrhythmias or other cardiovascular disease at baseline. The median age was 58 years and 55.3% were women.

Participants completed a questionnaire asking how many cups of coffee they drank each day and whether they usually drank instant, ground (such as cappuccino or filtered coffee), or decaffeinated coffee. They were then grouped into six daily intake categories, consisting of none, less than one, one, two to three, four to five, and more than five cups per day.

The usual coffee type was instant in 198,062 (44.1%) participants, ground in 82,575 (18.4%), and decaffeinated in 68,416 (15.2%). There were 100,510 (22.4%) non-coffee drinkers who served as the comparator group.

Coffee drinkers were compared to non-drinkers for the incidence of arrhythmias, cardiovascular disease and death, after adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnoea, smoking status, and tea and alcohol consumption.

Outcome information was obtained from medical records and death records. The median follow up was 12.5 years.

A total of 27,809 (6.2%) participants died during follow up. All types of coffee were linked with a reduction in death from any cause. The greatest risk reduction seen with two to three cups per day, which compared to no coffee drinking was associated with a 14%, 27% and 11% lower likelihood of death for decaffeinated, ground, and instant preparations, respectively.

This shows a woman drinking coffee
Compared with non-drinkers, the lowest risks were observed with four to five cups a day for ground coffee and two to three cups a day for instant coffee, with 17% and 12% reduced risks, respectively. Image is in the public domain

Cardiovascular disease was diagnosed in 43,173 (9.6%) participants during follow up. All coffee subtypes were associated with a reduction in incident cardiovascular disease.

Again, the lowest risk was observed with two to three cups a day, which compared to abstinence from coffee was associated with a 6%, 20%, and 9% reduced likelihood of cardiovascular disease for decaffeinated, ground, instant coffee, respectively.

An arrhythmia was diagnosed in 30,100 (6.7%) participants during follow up. Ground and instant coffee, but not decaffeinated, was associated with a reduction in arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation.

Compared with non-drinkers, the lowest risks were observed with four to five cups a day for ground coffee and two to three cups a day for instant coffee, with 17% and 12% reduced risks, respectively.

Professor Kistler said: “Caffeine is the most well-known constituent in coffee, but the beverage contains more than 100 biologically active components. It is likely that the non-caffeinated 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.”

About this longevity research news

Author: Justine Pinot
Source: European Society of Cardiology
Contact: Justine Pinot – European Society of Cardiology
Image: The image is in the public domain

Original Research: Open access.
The impact of coffee subtypes on incident cardiovascular disease, arrhythmias, and mortality: long-term outcomes from the UK Biobank” by Peter Kistler et al. European Journal of Preventative Cardiology


The impact of coffee subtypes on incident cardiovascular disease, arrhythmias, and mortality: long-term outcomes from the UK Biobank


Epidemiological studies report the beneficial effects of habitual coffee consumption on incident arrhythmia, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and mortality. However, the impact of different coffee preparations on cardiovascular outcomes and survival is largely unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate associations between coffee subtypes on incident outcomes, utilizing the UK Biobank.

Methods and results

Coffee subtypes were defined as decaffeinated, ground, and instant, then divided into 0, <1, 1, 2–3, 4–5, and >5 cups/day, and compared with non-drinkers. Cardiovascular disease included coronary heart disease, cardiac failure, and ischaemic stroke. Cox regression modelling with hazard ratios (HRs) assessed associations with incident arrhythmia, CVD, and mortality. Outcomes were determined through ICD codes and death records. A total of 449 563 participants (median 58 years, 55.3% females) were followed over 12.5 ± 0.7 years.

Ground and instant coffee consumption was associated with a significant reduction in arrhythmia at 1–5 cups/day but not for decaffeinated coffee.

The lowest risk was 4–5 cups/day for ground coffee [HR 0.83, confidence interval (CI) 0.76–0.91, P < 0.0001] and 2–3 cups/day for instant coffee (HR 0.88, CI 0.85–0.92, P < 0.0001). All coffee subtypes were associated with a reduction in incident CVD (the lowest risk was 2–3 cups/day for decaffeinated, P = 0.0093; ground, P < 0.0001; and instant coffee, P < 0.0001) vs. non-drinkers.

All-cause mortality was significantly reduced for all coffee subtypes, with the greatest risk reduction seen with 2–3 cups/day for decaffeinated (HR 0.86, CI 0.81–0.91, P < 0.0001); ground (HR 0.73, CI 0.69–0.78, P < 0.0001); and instant coffee (HR 0.89, CI 0.86–0.93, P < 0.0001).


Decaffeinated, ground, and instant coffee, particularly at 2–3 cups/day, were associated with significant reductions in incident CVD and mortality. Ground and instant but not decaffeinated coffee was associated with reduced arrhythmia.

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  1. It’s interesting to know that there is a risk reduction of about 14%, 27%, and 11% for those who drink coffee when they opt for decaffeinated, ground, and instant preparations, respectively. I guess I should start getting into this drink which I haven’t been really interested in ever since I was younger. In that case, I might want to get K-cup coffee makers for my place, so it will be easier to prepare for me.

  2. This is one of the stupidest studies I’ve seen. People who have cardiovascular problems don’t drink coffee because of the caffeine. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

  3. When I read a study like this, I want to know why. Is it just that people that drink coffee are up and about and thus getting exercise more often or doing more physical behavior than those that don’t drink coffee. Or is there actually some chemical in coffee that helps improve your heart health? Huge difference of course and why correlation is not causation. Is this study funded in any way by companies that make or sell products related to coffee? I have so many questions that don’t ever seen to be asked or even discussed in a study like this. In the new clickbait world we live in I worry studies like this are easily and purposely misinterpreted.

  4. I am a coffee drinker, about 2 or 3 cups a day for decades, and have experienced heart problems recently (in my early 70’s) and have a difficult time accepting these types of studies. There are far too many factors involved when determining what thing does what.

    These studies cannot know all the factors involved in heart disease and its progression and where each of these people were at in that process when the study started. Most heart disease starts when a person is in their 20’s or 30’s and progresses according to many other determinants, habits and factors of which are not even yet known by medical science.

    1. Hi Tom, sorry for the heart issues. Coffee can help with several risks but it’s not a magic bullet. Another way to look at it is that you are not a statistic who had a massive and fatal heart attack at 50. I wish you well and take good care of yourself.

  5. Please note that the article says “Decaffeinated, ground, and instant coffee were associated with significant reductions in incident CVD and mortality.” It does not say coffee causes or leads to reductions in incident CVD and mortality. There is a correlation, but no cause and effect have been proved, apparently. More study is needed.

  6. The first comment (Sam P.) is on point. Note the authors carefully say “associated with”, not “causes”. While the study authors and reporters cover their behinds with waffle words, it seems clear they want the casual reader to infer that coffee causes good health, not the other way around. This type of science writing and reporting is endemic in medical research, it seems.

  7. As with many studies of this kind, the expression “associated” is used to suggest a cause-effect relationship, but no such relationship is established by the study. Without a proven cause-effect relationship and simply put, this is pseudoscience.

    A simple correlation between some properties A and B do not prove a cause-effect relationship, and science requires theories as well as evidence. This study shows evidence but proposes no theory to explain the conclusion being drawn — that coffee drinking is good for you.

    This explains why nutritional studies come and go over time, often contradicting each other — no one tries to explain the correlations. No one tries to do actual science, which is much harder than finding a possibly meaningless correlation in a large study that records behaviors and outcomes, some of which will turn out to be publishable. This is called “P-hacking”, which means trying to find some random unexpected correlation buried in a database that can be published and masquerade as a scientific finding.

    From the article: “The results suggest that mild to moderate intake of ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee should be considered part of a healthy lifestyle.” But in fact, the study does nothing of the kind — not without a demonstrated cause-effect relationship.

  8. This study was done by absolute morons. How do they make the choice:

    Instant, or
    Ground, or

    None of those are mutually exclusive. Instant coffee IS ground, and could be decaffeinated or not. Absolutely moronic.

    1. Actually, instant coffee is processes further, so it is not simply ground. And decaffeinated is also processed. So, basically they show that if use coffee in the most natural ways, the benefits are the highest.

  9. The study is flawed.
    ~People who drink coffee have lower rates of cardiovascular disease and live longer~

    I can’t drink coffee BECAUSE I have a cardiovascular disease and the caffeine makes my heart rate irregular.

    Drinking a bunch of coffee doesn’t make people live longer. Being able to drink a bunch of coffee without adverse effects is just a sign of good health.

  10. Of greatest concern, the study revealed that 44.1% of participants drank disgusting INSTANT coffee. Blech!

    1. Looks like this study was done in England. Instant coffee is more popular than ground there. As well as many other countries.

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