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Your coffee habit could kill you

New study finds that heavy coffee consumption could lead to early death.

By Sally Wadyka Aug 19, 2013 3:57PM

I’m about to finish my second cup of coffee as I sit down to write this. And given what I’ve just learned, I think I’ll go dump out what’s still left in the coffee pot off and cut myself off for the day. Because, although various studies over the years have touted some benefits to daily caffeine consumption (much to the joy of java addicts everywhere), the newest research paints a much more cautionary tale. This huge study involved over 43,000 people between the ages of 20 and 87.  Over the course of the 17-year follow up, the researchers looked at causes and ages of deaths that occurred and also measured subjects’ coffee intake using self-reported questionnaires. What they found is that for both men and women in the 55 and under group, a heavy coffee habit increased the chances of premature death by more than 50 percent. Younger men in particular, seem to face the greatest risk. Guys who downed more than 28 cups of Joe a week (an average of more than 4 a day) had a 56 percent increase in mortality from all causes. Surprisingly, for those over 55, excessive coffee consumption seemed to have no adverse effects.

The heavy coffee drinkers in the study were more likely to smoke and to have low levels of cardiovascular fitness. The researchers theorize that too much coffee may adversely affect the body’s metabolism -- and that those with what they called a “genetic coffee addiction” are even more prone to the potentially negative effects.

And while more than four cups a day may sound like a lot, surveys by the National Coffee Association found that the average American has about three cups a day. Plus, don’t forget that that Venti coffee you grab from Starbucks on your way to the office packs at least two regular cups into a convenient to-go size. Maybe you just shouldn’t go back for a second round mid-morning.


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Aug 21, 2013 11:23AM
I wonder if they took into account the color of the roofs on the peoples homes?
Maybe the brand of razor they used?
Cocoa or Fruity Pebbles?

Mortality from "all" causes?
So maybe some of these coffee drinkers had long commutes, they drank 4 cups of coffee but died in crashes. Was this the coffee or traffic?

Americans are known for our coffee habits, why is it surprising that in any study, a majority of the participants are heavy coffee drinkers?
Do a study on boxers or briefs, include the coffee drinking habits of the participants, and you may be able to conclude that 4 cup a day coffee drinkers  prefer to go commando...

Stupid study probably done at the expense to the taxpayer.
Anything can kill you, normal people have known that for years without needing studies.

Aug 21, 2013 12:33PM

Science has proven long ago that living is hazardous to your health--for reasons as yet undiscovered, everybody dies sometime.

This is probably a study financed by some anti-coffee or anti-caffeine group or other.My Dad is 78 and has drunk an astounding 3 pots of coffee a day since his late 20's.

Hey, oxygen--you know, that stuff we need to breathe to live?--is, well...an oxidant.

The very air we need to live is killing us.

How about people not worry so much?

Aug 21, 2013 11:23AM
63, and ain't dead yet, pot of coffee daily, but hey, we all gonna die someday.
Aug 21, 2013 1:18PM

Epidemiologists would tell you that what this "huge study" has discovered is a correlation, but not necessarily a cause.  Let me give an example.  It can easily be proven that people living in rented apartments have a higher level of obesity than people who live in their own houses, so obesity is correlated with renting.  Does renting cause obesity?  Of course not.  Lower income is the cause of the higher incidence of obesity (due to poor nutrition) as well as the higher incidence of not being able to afford a house. 


In the case of the coffee/premature death correlation, one possible explanation (among many) is implied by the author's statement that "The heavy coffee drinkers in the study were more likely to smoke and to have low levels of cardiovascular fitness."  And you still blame the coffee? 


Telling those sedentary cigarette smokers that quitting coffee wil magically reduce their risk of premature death is Peter Pan thinking.

Aug 21, 2013 2:39PM













Aug 21, 2013 1:40PM
When did we start worrying about "death by coffee" ?   I just read an article where some brain-dead parents let their young daughters stand on top of an airplane wing and fly around...like a circus sideshow. A woman just got killed last month doing the same silly stunt in Ohio.   Hope they don't eat too many sweets, though...and drink coffee..NEVER !
Aug 21, 2013 3:10PM
Wow, I wondered what else they will come up with. I even wondered who these researcher are. I bet they drink coffee also. they must be bore badly enough to tell us if we drink too much coffee we are close to death. All I know is if you eat right, exercise and be positive about life and everything in moderation you shouldn't have a problem with your health. Good health to all of you in America.
Aug 21, 2013 12:08PM
Everything we can possibly do, drink or eat is probably bad for our health. So be it. Only a fool would want to live forever. Most, regardless of our good and bad habits, will die in our Seventies. It's enough time for me.
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