Objective: To investigate whether coffee consumption is associated with 10-year cognitive decline in elderly men, as results of previous studies obtained hitherto have been controversial and prospective information on this association has been lacking.
Design, subjects and setting: Six hundred and seventy six healthy men born between 1900 and 1920 from Finland, Italy and the Netherlands participated in a 10-year prospective cohort study. Cognitive functioning was assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (0-30 points, with a higher score indicating better cognitive performance). Coffee consumption was estimated in cups per day. A mixed longitudinal model was used to investigate the association between baseline coffee consumption and 10-year cognitive decline. Multiple adjustments were made.
Results: Men who consumed coffee had a 10-year cognitive decline of 1.2 points (4%). Non-consumers had an additional decline of 1.4 points (P<0.001). An inverse and J-shaped association was observed between the number of cups of coffee consumed and cognitive decline, with the least cognitive decline for three cups of coffee per day (0.6 points). This decline was 4.3 times smaller than the decline of non-consumers (P<0.001).
Conclusions: Findings suggest that consuming coffee reduces cognitive decline in elderly men. An inverse and J-shaped association may exist between the number of cups of coffee consumed and cognitive decline, with the least cognitive decline for men consuming three cups of coffee per day.