Habitual coffee intake reduces all-cause mortality by decreasing heart rate


It is well known that subjects with metabolic syndrome show an elevated resting heart rate. We previously reported that elevated heart rate was significantly related to all-cause mortality, and that coffee consumption was inversely associated with metabolic syndrome. We hypothesized that higher coffee consumption may decrease all-cause mortality by reducing resting heart rate. We performed a longitudinal epidemiological study in Tanushimaru (a cohort of the Seven Countries Study). A total of 1920 residents aged over 40 years received health checkups in 1999. We measured components of metabolic syndrome, and eating and drinking patterns were evaluated by a food frequency questionnaire. We followed up the participants annually for 15 years. During the follow-up period, 343 of the participants died. Of these, 102 subjects died of cancer, 48 of cerebro-cardiovascular diseases, and 44 of infectious diseases. Multivariate analyses revealed that higher coffee consumption was inversely associated with resting heart rate. Kaplan–Meier curves found lower mortality rates in the higher coffee consumption groups. In the lower coffee consumption groups, elevated hazard ratios of all-cause death were observed in the increased heart rate quintiles, whereas heart rate was not associated with all-cause death in the higher coffee consumption groups. These significant associations remained after further adjustment for confounders. This prospective study suggests that higher coffee consumption may have a protective effect against all-cause death due to reducing resting heart rate.

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Y. N.-S. was primary investigator and performed this exanimation. H. A. planned this study. M.E., A.F., S.N., S.K., N.M., A.S., H.H. and K.T. performed the follow-up examination with Y. N.-S. Y.F. designed the study and he is a head of the department supervisor. All the authors read and approved the final manuscript. We are grateful to the members of the Japan Medical Association of Ukiha, the elected officials and residents of Tanushimaru, and the team of physicians who helped in performing the health examinations. This study was supported in part by the Kimura Memorial Heart Foundation, Fukuoka; by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

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Correspondence to Yume Nohara-Shitama.

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Y. Nohara-Shitama, H. Adachi, M. Enomoto, A. Fukami, S. Nakamura, S. Kono, N. Morikawa, A. Sakaue, H. Hamamura, K. Toyomasu, and Y. Fukumoto have no conflicts of interest.

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Nohara-Shitama, Y., Adachi, H., Enomoto, M. et al. Habitual coffee intake reduces all-cause mortality by decreasing heart rate. Heart Vessels 34, 1823–1829 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00380-019-01422-0

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  • Coffee intake
  • Mortality
  • Heart rate
  • Prospective study
  • Epidemiology