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Coffee doesn't kill, it protects heart

Research reveals that drinking large amounts of coffee reduces death from fatal heart attacks and stroke by almost a quarter.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, London
UPDATED ON JUN 17, 2008 04:30 PM IST

Here's some good news for coffee buffs - drinking large amounts of the caffeinated concoction does not increase the risk of an early death, and, if you are a woman, it may protect you from developing heart disease.

A new research has revealed that drinking up to six cups of coffee a day has no negative effect on the health of a person and it could reduce the risk of women dying from fatal heart attacks and stroke by almost a quarter. Researchers have based their findings on an analysis of 84,000 women and 41,000 men who were tracked for 20 years. The participants completed questionnaires every two to four years about their coffee intake and habits like diet, smoking.

According to study's author Esther Lopez-Garcia of the School of Medicine at Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain, "Coffee consumption was not associated with a higher risk of mortality in middle-aged men and women. However the possibility of a modest benefit of coffee consumption on heart disease, cancer, and other causes of death needs to be further investigated."

The study found that women consuming two to three cups of caffeinated coffee per day had a 25 per cent lower risk of death from heart disease during the follow-up period compared with people who did not drink coffee, and an 18 per cent lower risk caused by something other than cancer or heart disease. For men, three cups of coffee daily was not linked with a higher or a lower risk of death, British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported.

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. This was mainly because of lower risk for heart disease deaths among coffee drinkers.

They found no association between coffee drinking and cancer deaths - the lower risk of death did not appear to be linked to caffeine as those who drank decaffeinated coffee had lower death rates than those who did not drink coffee, according to the researchers.

The results of the study have been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal.

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