Three cups of coffee a day may extend lifespan for people with chronic kidney disease, new research
• Portuguese researchers followed more than 2,300 patients for nearly 12 years
• Those who drank plenty of the beverage slashed their risk of dying by a quarter
• One or 2 cups also increased the participants chances of survival by 12 and 22%
Three cups of coffee a day may help people with chronic kidney disease live longer, new research suggests.
A study that followed more than 2,300 patients for 12 years found those who drank plenty of the beverage slashed their risk of dying by a quarter.
One or two cups also increased the participants chances of survival by 12 and 22 per cent, respectively, compared to those who never touched it.
Portuguese researchers believe their results suggest advising patients with chronic kidney to disease to drink more coffee.
Dr Miguele Bigotte Vieira, of North Lisbon Hospital Centre, said: 'Our study showed a dose-dependent protective effect of caffeine consumption
on mortality among patients with chronic kidney disease.
'These results suggest advising patients with chronic kidney disease to drink more caffeine may reduce their mortality.'
A study that followed more than 2,300 patients for 12 years found those who drank plenty of the beverage slashed their risk of dying by a quarter
Kidney disease affects nearly two million in the UK, and five million have been diagnosed in the US. It is most common among the elderly.
Patients are at a much higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke as the condition leads to the accumulation of fatty deposits in arteries.
Described as a 'silent killer' because awareness is low, it can also lead to kidney failure.
The new findings were presented at the American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week conference in New Orleans.
The link was ‘dose-dependent’, meaning the more they drank, within reason, the less likely they were to die over the study period.
Dr Viera also said the potential phenonemon held firm even after other factors that affect kidney patients’ risk of death were taken into account.
These include age, gender, family income, education, high blood pressure, smoking status, BMI, previous strokes or heart attacks, diet, alcohol consumption and race.
Coffee is the world's most popular hot beverage and has been linked to a longer life in the general population, offering a host of health benefits.
But this is the first research to suggest it also holds true for individuals with chronic kidney disease.
How was the study carried out?
It was based on consumption and death rates among 2,328 US patients taking part in a national survey between 1999 and 2010.
Compared with those who never or rarely drank the beverage, participants who consumed two reduced their risk of dying during the study by 12 per cent.
Three cups was linked to a 22 per cent decreased risk, and anymore than this was found to slash the risk by 24 per cent.
Urgent need for more trials
Dr Vieira said there was now an urgent need for a bigger study with kidney patients selected at random either to drink coffee, or not.
He added: 'This would represent a simple, clinically beneficial and inexpensive option, though this benefit should ideally be confirmed in a randomised
clinical trial.' Dr Vieira stressed as the study was only observational it did not examine cause and effect.
So it cannot prove caffeine, the active stimulant in coffee, reduces the risk of death in patients with chronic kidney disease.
Is caffeine safe?
European health officials state adults should consume no more than 400mg of caffeine each day - the equivalent to four mugs of instant coffee.
A huge review conducted by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) in April confirmed this amount of caffeine was safe on a daily basis.
They assessed more than 740 studies into the effects of caffeine on humans to make the claim.
Any more can endanger health because the high amounts of caffeine can lead to restlessness, and even muscle tremors.
HOW MUCH CAFFEINE IS SAFE?
The EU’s food safety watchdog advised a daily limit of 400mg for adults in its first guidelines on caffeine intake in 2015.
European Food Safety Agency officials suggested pregnant women should keep intakes below 200mg.
It also advised children to consume no more than 3mg of caffeine per KG of body weight - the equivalent of two mugs of milky tea for a child of four.
Health officials warned those who break the limits run the risk of a host of health problems, from anxiety to heart failure.
Its warning also showed links between high caffeine intake in pregnancy and having a baby that is underweight.
The NHS says too much caffeine can cause a miscarriage. There are also links to birth defects.
However, with coffee far from the only food or drink to contain caffeine, people may unintentionally be going over the safe limit.