According to a recent study, consuming 4+ cups of coffee per day significantly increases your risk of dying from any cause before age 55. I am no scientist, but any cause? Really? That's the detail you have? Coffee might cause ALS? Breast cancer? Stroke (which it has been previously thought to mitigate)? Car accidents? Murder? Accidents while performing auto-erotic asphyxiation? Anything?

Without the mental capacity to try to actually read the whole study (because I haven't had my first cup of coffee today), I continued through the NPR article to find that there were admittedly some "limits" to the study. Including one small little detail:

The researchers followed up with the participants for 17 years on average. But they were only asked about their coffee consumption once – so, as Lavie himself notes, we don't know how their coffee habits changed over time.

THAT SEEMS IMPORTANT.

Another limiting factor: smoking. Heavy coffee drinkers in the study were more likely to be smokers – which makes sense, since the data was collected beginning more than 40 years ago.

THAT ALSO SEEMS IMPORTANT. By "any cause" do you mean "mainly lung and throat cancers"?

I only drink a couple cups a day, so I have no good reason to be outraged by this. I was thinking, "hmm, what is THIS link about. I should know about this." Then it's about nothing. Almost nothing.

UPDATE: More stray thoughts from non-scientist me.

  • People who drink tons of coffee probably don't get a lot of sleep.
  • Are people who drink tons of coffee likely to drink more alcohol?
  • People who drink tons of coffee likely are breakfast-skippers.
  • People who drink tons of coffee might be more likely to work sedentary office jobs which we all know is not particularly healthy.

UPDATED to include some pertinent info from SeaAnenome:

"All-cause mortality" is a technical term, and it's defined near the bottom of the page here:

http://www.healthunit.org/chsr/data_def/…

So my initial reaction to the all-cause death scenario was unfounded!