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Study associates coffee with lower risk of heart attack, cancer and diabetes

Coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of heart attack, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory and kidney diseases, according to a report released today by the University of Southern California (USC).

Thus, the consumption of this aromatic beverage is associated with a longer life expectancy, because those who consume one cup of coffee a day are 12% less likely to suffer from these diseases than those who do not.

And if consumption increases, propensity decreases, according to research conducted by Veronica Setiawan, associate professor of Preventive Medicine at Keck School of Medicine at USC.

Analysis of data from more than 215,000 participants showed that consuming three cups of coffee a day makes the person 18% less likely to die from these major diseases.

“We can not say that drinking coffee will last a lifetime, but we see an association,” said Setiawan, noting that the results do not differ if consumption is of normal or decaffeinated coffee.

“If you like to drink coffee, take it! And if you’re not a coffee drinker, then you should consider becoming a coffee drinker,” she said.

The analysis, which will be published Tuesday in the journal Anales de Medicina Interna, used information from a multi-ethnic study of risk factors for quality of life performed jointly by the Cancer Center of Hawaii University and Keck School.

“Until now there was very little data available for the association between coffee consumption and non-white mortality in the United States and elsewhere,” the study said.

“These investigations are important because lifestyle patterns and disease risks can vary substantially across racial backgrounds and the findings of one group do not necessarily apply to others,” notes USC.

“Seeing similar patterns in different populations gives a solid biological backing to the argument that coffee is good for you whether it’s white, African American, Latino or Asian,” Setiawan said.

Among other possible reasons is that coffee contains a lot of antioxidants and phenol compounds “that play an important role in the prevention of cancer,” said the scientist.

Setiawan pointed out that while the study does not show the cause “or the point at which coffee chemists can have this ‘elixir effect’, it is clear that coffee can be incorporated into a healthy diet and lifestyle.”

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