Do coffee drinkers live longer?

June 18, 2019 4 min read

Do coffee drinkers live longer?

Much of what we know about coffee are its benefits: it perks us up, gives that much-needed boost during an afternoon slump, makes us do better in sports, helps us focus, makes our skin glow, speeds up our metabolism, and essentially gets us in a better mood!

But perhaps the magnitude of coffee’s benefits all boils down to what many coffee lovers and researchers believe:

Coffee drinkers live longer.

But is there scientific evidence behind this claim? This article will find out!


What the studies say

Apparently, several studies have been conducted on the subject. To find out whether coffee drinkers live longer, let’s list down the various studies done in recent years and find out what they have to say:

*drumroll please*


A 2018 study among 500,000 British adults – a mix of coffee and non-coffee drinkers – show “slightly lower risk” of death over a 10-year period.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, specifically in the JAMA Internal Medicine, covered research done at the National Cancer Institute. Information from 500,000 participants in the genetic study, U.K. Biobank, were analyzed. Details about their medical history, coffee consumption, smoking and drinking habits were reviewed. The study found that 14,200 participants died over the 10-year period. It also showed that coffee drinkers were 10 to 15 percent less likely to die over the same period, with minimal variations in the amount of coffee and genetic makeup. It has to be noted that coffee drinkers consumed instant, ground and decaf alike. [1]

The JAMA article states:

A new study of nearly half a million people (ages 38 to 73) in the United Kingdom suggests a lower risk of death was associated with drinking more coffee, including among coffee drinkers who have eight or more cups per day, in both slow and fast metabolizers of caffeine, and in drinkers of ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee. [2]



A 2017 study concluded that three to four cups of coffee a day are linked to a whole range of health benefits

Coffee consumption is “more often associated with benefit than harm,” according to a review of over 200 studies about coffee consumption’s effect on health. [3]

Three to four cups of coffee are found to be the optimal amount to consume in a day, although coffee lovers who drink up to seven cups still enjoy several health benefits. They enjoy a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, liver disease, dementia and some forms of cancer.




A 2017 study was conducted to find the link between coffee consumption and mortality in 10 European countries

This study aimed to examine a potential interrelation between coffee-drinking and mortality in “diverse European populations.”

After examining the results from 521,330 persons enrolled in EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition), the study concludes that “coffee drinking was associated with reduced risk for death from various causes” and that “this relationship did not vary by country.” [4]

Specifically, coffee drinkers are found to have lower death risk from digestive, circulatory, liver disease and other illnesses. [5]



A 2017 study found that people who drink one cup of joe a day enjoy a 12 percent reduced risk of death from chronic diseases, and an even lower risk for drinking more cups.

Led by Veronica W. Setiawan of the University of Southern California and funded by the National Cancer Institute, a 2017 study examined coffee-drinking habits among more than 180,000 participants from diverse backgrounds over a 16-year period. They included whites, African-Americans, Latinos, Japanese-Americans, and native Hawaiians.

The study showed that there’s a 12 percent lower risk of death from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, respiratory and kidney disease, and a total risk reduction of 18 percent among those drinking 3 cups daily. [5]



A 2012 study shows that older coffee-drinking adults have a lower risk of death over those who don’t drink coffee.

According to a 2012 study conducted at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is part of the National Institutes of Health and AARP, “older adults who drank coffee — caffeinated or decaffeinated — had a lower risk of death overall than others who did not drink coffee.” [6, 7]

The study looked into 229,119 men and 173,141 women aged 50-71 years old.

It concluded that those who drink coffee are less likely to die from chronic diseases like heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, as well as injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections.

Researchers found that “coffee consumption was inversely associated with total and cause-specific mortality. Whether this was a causal or associational finding cannot be determined from our data.”




The above studies showed that indeed, drinking coffee from at least a cup a day, to as much as 7 to 8 cups of joe, can lead to a reduced risk of various illnesses and lead to many health benefits.



However, researchers warned that you shouldn’t just drink more coffee for the sake of its health benefits.

Note that a person can only consume so much caffeine a day.

Studies have shown that caffeine remains in the safe zone when consumed in low-to-moderate amounts [8]. “Low-to-moderate” means 400 milligrams (mg).

And that’s the amount of caffeine that’s considered safe to consume in a day… at least for adults. [9]


If you’re wondering what 400 mg means, you can refer to image from this article:

Here’s how much caffeine you should have in a day.

Note that caffeine content varies in different products so don’t forget to check the label!  

And if you’re wondering how much the “killer” amount is (literally), then USA Today reports it would “likely take anywhere from 50-100 cups of coffee,” or a teaspoon of pure powdered caffeine ingested at once. [10]

Also, make sure that caffeine consumption will NOT affect pregnancy. Here are some things to consider when drinking coffee if and when you’re on the way.




Tina Sendin
Tina Sendin

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