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Study suggests heavy coffee consumption increases death risk

by , 19 August 2013

The debate over coffee's health risks is in the spotlight once again. This time a new study suggests there's a link between heavy coffee consumption and a higher death risk among men and women younger than 55. Read on to discover whether or not you should cut down on your coffee consumption…

A study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings has found men younger than 55 who drank more than 28 cups of coffee a week (four cups a day) were 56% more likely to have died from any cause. Women in that age range had a twofold greater risk of dying than other women, reports USAToday.

The study looked at 43,727 men and women between the ages of 20 and 87 from 1971 to 2002. It didn’t find a higher death risk for adults 55 and older.

The link between heavy coffee consumption and higher death risk

Xuemei Sui, assistant professor of exercise science at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and co-author of the study is quoted as saying, “from our study, it seems safe to drink one to three cups of coffee a day.”

According to the report, the reasons for the higher death risk among younger adults aren’t clear especially since other studies through the years have found both health benefits and problems associated with coffee.

But Sui says the caffeine in coffee can increase your heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. While this is the case, the study didn’t find a significant association between coffee consumption and heart disease death.

It’s for this reason that researchers concluded more research is needed to find where the higher death risk came from, considering that coffee is also a major source of antioxidants (substances that protect your cells).

Gregg Fonarow, co-chief of clinical cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, is quoted as saying observational studies that survey people about their coffee intake and tie that to how many died from any cause have yielded mixed results.

For instance, a study conducted last year by the National Cancer Institute found coffee drinkers aged between 50 and 71 had a lower risk of death than their peers who didn’t drink coffee.

So should you drink coffee or should you quit?

In this study researchers found coffee consumption remains a contentious issue. More research is needed. But in the meantime, avoid excessive coffee drinking. After all, too much of a good thing can be bad for you.

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