Background: Coffee consumption has been associated with reduced risk for death in prospective cohort studies; however, data in nonwhites are sparse.
Objective: To examine the association of coffee consumption with risk for total and cause-specific death.
Design: The MEC (Multiethnic Cohort), a prospective population-based cohort study established between 1993 and 1996.
Setting: Hawaii and Los Angeles, California.
Participants: 185 855 African Americans, Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and whites aged 45 to 75 years at recruitment.
Measurements: Outcomes were total and cause-specific mortality between 1993 and 2012. Coffee intake was assessed at baseline by means of a validated food-frequency questionnaire.
Results: 58 397 participants died during 3 195 484 person-years of follow-up (average follow-up, 16.2 years). Compared with drinking no coffee, coffee consumption was associated with lower total mortality after adjustment for smoking and other potential confounders (1 cup per day: hazard ratio [HR], 0.88 [95% CI, 0.85 to 0.91]; 2 to 3 cups per day: HR, 0.82 [CI, 0.79 to 0.86]; ≥4 cups per day: HR, 0.82 [CI, 0.78 to 0.87]; P for trend < 0.001). Trends were similar between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. Significant inverse associations were observed in 4 ethnic groups; the association in Native Hawaiians did not reach statistical significance. Inverse associations were also seen in never-smokers, younger participants (<55 years), and those who had not previously reported a chronic disease. Among examined end points, inverse associations were observed for deaths due to heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease.
Limitation: Unmeasured confounding and measurement error, although sensitivity analysis suggested that neither was likely to affect results.
Conclusion: Higher consumption of coffee was associated with lower risk for death in African Americans, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and whites.
Primary funding source: National Cancer Institute.