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Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Apr;95(4):901-8. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.023648. Epub 2012 Feb 15.

Coffee consumption and risk of chronic disease in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Germany study.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal, Germany.



Early studies suggested that coffee consumption may increase the risk of chronic disease.


We investigated prospectively the association between coffee consumption and the risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes (T2D), myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and cancer.


We used data from 42,659 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Germany study. Coffee consumption was assessed by self-administered food-frequency questionnaire at baseline, and data on medically verified incident chronic diseases were collected by active and passive follow-up procedures. HRs and 95% CIs were calculated with multivariate Cox regression models and compared by competing risk analysis.


During 8.9 y of follow-up, we observed 1432 cases of T2D, 394 of MI, 310 of stroke, and 1801 of cancer as first qualifying events. Caffeinated (HR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.84, 1.05) or decaffeinated (HR: 1.05; 95% CI: 0.84, 1.31) coffee consumption (≥4 cups/d compared with <1 cup/d; 1 cup was defined as 150 mL) was not associated with the overall risk of chronic disease. A lower risk of T2D was associated with caffeinated (HR: 0.77; 95% CI: 0.63, 0.94; P-trend 0.009) and decaffeinated (HR: 0.70; 95% CI: 0.46, 1.06; P-trend: 0.043) coffee consumption (≥4 cups/d compared with <1 cup/d), but cardiovascular disease and cancer risk were not. The competing risk analysis showed no significant differences between the risk associations of individual diseases.


Our findings suggest that coffee consumption does not increase the risk of chronic disease, but it may be linked to a lower risk of T2D.

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