Association of Coffee Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in 3 Large Prospective Cohorts

Circulation. 2015 Dec 15;132(24):2305-15. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.017341. Epub 2015 Nov 16.


Background: The association between consumption of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and risk of mortality remains inconclusive.

Methods and results: We examined the associations of consumption of total, caffeinated, and decaffeinated coffee with risk of subsequent total and cause-specific mortality among 74,890 women in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS), 93,054 women in the Nurses' Health Study II, and 40,557 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Coffee consumption was assessed at baseline using a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. During 4,690,072 person-years of follow-up, 19,524 women and 12,432 men died. Consumption of total, caffeinated, and decaffeinated coffee were nonlinearly associated with mortality. Compared with nondrinkers, coffee consumption of 1 to 5 cups per day was associated with lower risk of mortality, whereas coffee consumption of more than 5 cups per day was not associated with risk of mortality. However, when restricting to never smokers compared with nondrinkers, the hazard ratios (and 95% confidence intervals) of mortality were 0.94 (0.89-0.99) for 1.0 or less cup per day, 0.92 (0.87-0.97) for 1.1 to 3.0 cups per day, 0.85 (0.79-0.92) for 3.1 to 5.0 cup per day, and 0.88 (0.78-0.99) for more than 5.0 cup per day (P value for nonlinearity = 0.32; P value for trend < 0.001). Significant inverse associations were observed for caffeinated (P value for trend < 0.001) and decaffeinated coffee (P value for trend = 0.022). Significant inverse associations were observed between coffee consumption and deaths attributed to cardiovascular disease, neurologic diseases, and suicide. No significant association between coffee consumption and total cancer mortality was found.

Conclusions: Higher consumption of total coffee, caffeinated coffee, and decaffeinated coffee was associated with lower risk of total mortality.

Keywords: coffee; mortality; smoking.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cause of Death / trends*
  • Coffee*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies


  • Coffee