Harvard Men's Health Watch

Study reveals risk of heavy coffee drinking in those younger than 55

Middle age might be a good time to lay off the java for heavy coffee drinkers, suggests a study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The study was based on the diet and health records of nearly 44,000 people, aged 20 to 90. Men who drank more than 28 cups of coffee per week had a moderately higher risk of dying from any cause during the 17-year study. But in men younger than 55, the risk was more pronounced. Women younger than 55, too, were at higher risk.

This study is just the latest in a growing number to examine the potential health risks of regular coffee consumption. The results of the studies have been mixed, with some finding benefits, some finding no risk, and others—like this one—finding a potential for harm at certain levels of consumption. The study authors state that despite the uncertainty, "it may be appropriate to recommend that younger people, in particular, avoid heavy coffee consumption."

However, considering that most studies to date have found no harm in coffee drinking, it's too soon to recommend major changes in coffee-drinking habits. But if you feel jittery or get an upset stomach from hitting the java too hard, cut back a little and stay tuned for additional research.

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