If you are reading this, there are two things we can reasonably assume about you. 1. You like and probably drink coffee, and (not to get all Cartesian here, but) 2. You exist. You’re alive in some capacity or another. Turns out, these two ostensibly unrelated facts about you may be anything but as a new study finds that coffee drinkers are associated with a lower risk of death, even if they drink sugary coffees.
As reported by NBC News, the new research was published earlier this week in the journal the Annals of Internal Medicine and was undertaken by doctors from Jinan University and Southern Medical University, both in Guangzhou, China. For the study, researchers used demographic, lifestyle, and dietary data from over 170,000 participants in the UK Biobank. The participants, who were tracked from a period between 2009 and 2018, had to have no instances of cardiovascular disease or cancer.
After adjusting for lifestyle, sociodemographic and other “clinical factors,” the data showed that coffee drinkers—both unsweetened and sweetened with sugar—”had lower risks for all-cause mortality” than their non-coffee-consuming counterparts. And in fact, for those who drank in the 1.5 to 3.5 daily cups of coffee range, those who drank theirs with sugar were associated with a slightly lower mortality rate than their non-sweetened counterparts, 21-31% and 16-29%, respectively. At the more extreme ends—less than 1.5 cups daily and 4.5 or more—unsweetened coffee drastically outperformed sugar-sweetened, with a 21-23% decrease versus that of a 9% decrease to a 5% increase.
Per the study, the associations were observed regardless of the coffee being instant, ground, or decaf. Coffee drinkers who opted for artificial sweetener, interestingly enough, had a “less consistent” association between consumption and mortality rates.
While prior studies have made similar links between coffee and decrease risk of dying, this is the first to include and examine coffee drinks that contain sugar. As with previous studies, the findings in this latest bit of research only establishes a correlation between drinking coffee and living longer. Further work is still required to find if there is any causal relationship between the two.
Still, the findings are good news for those who like drinking coffee and have a desire to continue mortal coiling.