Study Links Coffee Drinking with Lower Premature Death Risk

A Harvard study found that coffee drinkers may be less likely to die from things like heart disease, diabetes, and suicide.

Bring on the caffeine jitters. A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) says drinking three to five cups of coffee a day could lower your risk of dying prematurely.

HSPH researchers examined food and beverage consumption data supplied by more than 200,000 people participating in three different studies, roughly 33,000 of whom died during the 30 years of data collection. Based on that information, and after controlling for lifestyle factors like smoking and physical activity, the researchers concluded that moderate coffee drinking could help reduce premature deaths as a result of things like cardiovascular and neurological disease, type 2 diabetes, and suicide.

Notably, that effect held true whether or not the coffee was caffeinated, whereas some prior studies focused on coffee’s health benefits have been limited to caffeinated brews. Head researcher Ming Ding said in a statement that these effects likely center around coffee’s ability to regulate inflammation and insulin:

“Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation. That could explain some of our findings. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects.”

So, go ahead—take that afternoon coffee break.