Tag Archives: Risk

Hearing loss could pose greater risk of potential dementia in later life – study

People who experience hearing loss could be at greater risk of memory and thinking problems later in life than those without auditory issues, research suggests.

The study focused on people who were at risk of Alzheimer’s disease, revealing that those who were diagnosed with hearing loss had a higher risk of “mild cognitive impairment” four years later.

“It’s really not mild,” said Clive Ballard, professor of age-related disease at the University of Exeter. “They are in the lowest 5% of cognitive performance and about 50% of those individuals will go on to develop dementia.”

Presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London, researchers from the US looked at the memory and thinking skills of 783 cognitively healthy participants in late middle age, more than two-thirds of whom had at least one parent who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

The team carried out a range of cognitive tests on the participants over a four-year period, aimed at probing memory and mental processing, revealing that those who had hearing loss at the start of the study were more than twice as likely to be found to have mild cognitive impairment four years later than those with no auditory problems, once a variety of other risk factors were taken into account.

Taylor Fields, a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin who led the research, said that the findings suggest hearing loss could be an early warning sign that an individual might be at greater risk of future cognitive impairment – but added more research was necessary to unpick the link.

“There is something here and it should be looked into,” she said.

It is not the first study to suggest a link between hearing loss and cognitive troubles – previous research has found that the more severe hearing loss is, the greater the risk of dementia.

But it is not yet clear whether hearing loss is the result of changes linked to dementia, or whether hearing loss itself could contribute to cognitive decline. As a result, it is unclear whether treating hearing loss could mitigate against increased risk.

“Potentially it is something you can do something about, which I think makes it really important to understand better,” said Ballard.

In a separate study, researchers from Wisconsin found a link between thinking and memory difficulties, and changes to the fluency of speech. In 219 late-middle aged participants were assessed at the beginning and end of a two year period. The team found that those with early signs of mild cognitive impairment at the start of the study showed a steeper decline in fluency over the two years than those without.

A further series of studies presented at the conference focused on the link between diet and prowess at memory and thinking tasks. While all differed in the range of participants and the type of diet applied, overall the results suggest that eating healthily was linked to a lower risk of cognitive difficulties, and even a lower risk of dementia.

In one study, carried out by researchers in the US with almost 6,000 participants, scientists found that after taking into account a host of factors including smoking, physical activity, health and socioeconomic status, those who stuck best to a Mediterranean or similar diet over the course of a year were about 35% less likely to have low scores on cognitive tests than those who did not stick to the regime.

While the study does not show that eating badly triggers cognitive problems, and further work is needed to monitor the impact of the diet over time, Claire McEvoy – co-author of the research from the University of California San Francisco – noted that benefits of healthy eating seem to exist on a sliding scale.

“Even moderate adherence to these high quality dietary patterns showed a protective association with cognitive function,” she said.

Hearing loss could pose greater risk of potential dementia in later life – study

People who experience hearing loss could be at greater risk of memory and thinking problems later in life than those without auditory issues, research suggests.

The study focused on people who were at risk of Alzheimer’s disease, revealing that those who were diagnosed with hearing loss had a higher risk of “mild cognitive impairment” four years later.

“It’s really not mild,” said Clive Ballard, professor of age-related disease at the University of Exeter. “They are in the lowest 5% of cognitive performance and about 50% of those individuals will go on to develop dementia.”

Presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London, researchers from the US looked at the memory and thinking skills of 783 cognitively healthy participants in late middle age, more than two-thirds of whom had at least one parent who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

The team carried out a range of cognitive tests on the participants over a four-year period, aimed at probing memory and mental processing, revealing that those who had hearing loss at the start of the study were more than twice as likely to be found to have mild cognitive impairment four years later than those with no auditory problems, once a variety of other risk factors were taken into account.

Taylor Fields, a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin who led the research, said that the findings suggest hearing loss could be an early warning sign that an individual might be at greater risk of future cognitive impairment – but added more research was necessary to unpick the link.

“There is something here and it should be looked into,” she said.

It is not the first study to suggest a link between hearing loss and cognitive troubles – previous research has found that the more severe hearing loss is, the greater the risk of dementia.

But it is not yet clear whether hearing loss is the result of changes linked to dementia, or whether hearing loss itself could contribute to cognitive decline. As a result, it is unclear whether treating hearing loss could mitigate against increased risk.

“Potentially it is something you can do something about, which I think makes it really important to understand better,” said Ballard.

In a separate study, researchers from Wisconsin found a link between thinking and memory difficulties, and changes to the fluency of speech. In 219 late-middle aged participants were assessed at the beginning and end of a two year period. The team found that those with early signs of mild cognitive impairment at the start of the study showed a steeper decline in fluency over the two years than those without.

A further series of studies presented at the conference focused on the link between diet and prowess at memory and thinking tasks. While all differed in the range of participants and the type of diet applied, overall the results suggest that eating healthily was linked to a lower risk of cognitive difficulties, and even a lower risk of dementia.

In one study, carried out by researchers in the US with almost 6,000 participants, scientists found that after taking into account a host of factors including smoking, physical activity, health and socioeconomic status, those who stuck best to a Mediterranean or similar diet over the course of a year were about 35% less likely to have low scores on cognitive tests than those who did not stick to the regime.

While the study does not show that eating badly triggers cognitive problems, and further work is needed to monitor the impact of the diet over time, Claire McEvoy – co-author of the research from the University of California San Francisco – noted that benefits of healthy eating seem to exist on a sliding scale.

“Even moderate adherence to these high quality dietary patterns showed a protective association with cognitive function,” she said.

Hearing loss could pose greater risk of potential dementia in later life – study

People who experience hearing loss could be at greater risk of memory and thinking problems later in life than those without auditory issues, research suggests.

The study focused on people who were at risk of Alzheimer’s disease, revealing that those who were diagnosed with hearing loss had a higher risk of “mild cognitive impairment” four years later.

“It’s really not mild,” said Clive Ballard, professor of age-related disease at the University of Exeter. “They are in the lowest 5% of cognitive performance and about 50% of those individuals will go on to develop dementia.”

Presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London, researchers from the US looked at the memory and thinking skills of 783 cognitively healthy participants in late middle age, more than two-thirds of whom had at least one parent who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

The team carried out a range of cognitive tests on the participants over a four-year period, aimed at probing memory and mental processing, revealing that those who had hearing loss at the start of the study were more than twice as likely to be found to have mild cognitive impairment four years later than those with no auditory problems, once a variety of other risk factors were taken into account.

Taylor Fields, a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin who led the research, said that the findings suggest hearing loss could be an early warning sign that an individual might be at greater risk of future cognitive impairment – but added more research was necessary to unpick the link.

“There is something here and it should be looked into,” she said.

It is not the first study to suggest a link between hearing loss and cognitive troubles – previous research has found that the more severe hearing loss is, the greater the risk of dementia.

But it is not yet clear whether hearing loss is the result of changes linked to dementia, or whether hearing loss itself could contribute to cognitive decline. As a result, it is unclear whether treating hearing loss could mitigate against increased risk.

“Potentially it is something you can do something about, which I think makes it really important to understand better,” said Ballard.

In a separate study, researchers from Wisconsin found a link between thinking and memory difficulties, and changes to the fluency of speech. In 219 late-middle aged participants were assessed at the beginning and end of a two year period. The team found that those with early signs of mild cognitive impairment at the start of the study showed a steeper decline in fluency over the two years than those without.

A further series of studies presented at the conference focused on the link between diet and prowess at memory and thinking tasks. While all differed in the range of participants and the type of diet applied, overall the results suggest that eating healthily was linked to a lower risk of cognitive difficulties, and even a lower risk of dementia.

In one study, carried out by researchers in the US with almost 6,000 participants, scientists found that after taking into account a host of factors including smoking, physical activity, health and socioeconomic status, those who stuck best to a Mediterranean or similar diet over the course of a year were about 35% less likely to have low scores on cognitive tests than those who did not stick to the regime.

While the study does not show that eating badly triggers cognitive problems, and further work is needed to monitor the impact of the diet over time, Claire McEvoy – co-author of the research from the University of California San Francisco – noted that benefits of healthy eating seem to exist on a sliding scale.

“Even moderate adherence to these high quality dietary patterns showed a protective association with cognitive function,” she said.

Tall men at bigger risk of aggressive prostate cancer, study suggests

Tall men are at greater risk of contracting aggressive prostate cancer and of dying from the disease, the findings of a large study suggest.

British scientists found that every 10cm increment in height increased the chance of developing high-grade prostate cancer by 21% and the risk of death from the disease by 17%. They also found that obesity raised the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

The lead researcher, Dr Aurora Pérez-Cornago from Oxford University, said: “The finding of high risk in taller men may provide insights into the mechanisms underlying prostate cancer development – for example, related to early nutrition and growth.

“We also found that a healthy body weight is associated with a reduced risk of high-grade prostate cancer and death from prostate cancer years later.”

The study, published in BMC Medicine on Thursday, found that increased height was not associated with overall risk of contracting prostate cancer, but only with the aggressive forms of the disease.

Total prostate cancer risk was found to be related to body mass index and waist circumference, but the latter is considered a better proxy for obesity as muscular people can have a high BMI. Every extra 10cm on the waistline was associated with a 13% greater likelihood of having high-grade prostate cancer and an 18% bigger risk of dying from the disease.

Obesity has been linked to 11 common cancers, but the researchers believe their findings on weight could be – at least partially – a result of detection issues.

They say obese men may be less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, because they have lower concentrations of prostate-specific antigens, are less likely to undergo a biopsy and tend to have larger prostates, making detection more difficult. A reduced likelihood of early detection and treatment might lead to greater incidence of aggressive disease and higher mortality, the researchers suggest.

The analysis drew from data on 141,896 men, nearly all of whom were white, in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. After an average of 13.9 years of follow-up, there were 7,024 cases of prostate cancer, including 726 high-grade cases and 934 deaths from the disease.

Dr Matthew Hobbs, deputy director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “It is certainly interesting that, according to this research, certain physical characteristics appear to increase a man’s likelihood of developing aggressive prostate cancer, as it might provide pointers to help uncover certain genetic markers and early developmental processes which hold significance in terms of causing the disease to develop.

“It also underlines once again the importance of living a healthy lifestyle to help defend against a host of diseases, including prostate cancer.”

However, Hobbs stressed that the disease could affect men of all shapes and sizes.

In 2014, there were 46,960 new cases of prostate cancer and 11,287 deaths from the disease in the UK, according to Cancer Research UK. Dr Jasmine Just, the charity’s health information officer, said maintaining a healthy weight could help men reduce the risk of contracting a number of different cancers, but that the link between obesity and aggressive prostate cancer was still unclear.

“Further studies are also needed to understand if men who are overweight or obese might be at a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer and, if so, why,” she added.

Tall men at bigger risk of aggressive prostate cancer, study suggests

Tall men are at greater risk of contracting aggressive prostate cancer and of dying from the disease, the findings of a large study suggest.

British scientists found that every 10cm increment in height increased the chance of developing high-grade prostate cancer by 21% and the risk of death from the disease by 17%. They also found that obesity raised the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

The lead researcher, Dr Aurora Pérez-Cornago from Oxford University, said: “The finding of high risk in taller men may provide insights into the mechanisms underlying prostate cancer development – for example, related to early nutrition and growth.

“We also found that a healthy body weight is associated with a reduced risk of high-grade prostate cancer and death from prostate cancer years later.”

The study, published in BMC Medicine on Thursday, found that increased height was not associated with overall risk of contracting prostate cancer, but only with the aggressive forms of the disease.

Total prostate cancer risk was found to be related to body mass index and waist circumference, but the latter is considered a better proxy for obesity as muscular people can have a high BMI. Every extra 10cm on the waistline was associated with a 13% greater likelihood of having high-grade prostate cancer and an 18% bigger risk of dying from the disease.

Obesity has been linked to 11 common cancers, but the researchers believe their findings on weight could be – at least partially – a result of detection issues.

They say obese men may be less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, because they have lower concentrations of prostate-specific antigens, are less likely to undergo a biopsy and tend to have larger prostates, making detection more difficult. A reduced likelihood of early detection and treatment might lead to greater incidence of aggressive disease and higher mortality, the researchers suggest.

The analysis drew from data on 141,896 men, nearly all of whom were white, in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. After an average of 13.9 years of follow-up, there were 7,024 cases of prostate cancer, including 726 high-grade cases and 934 deaths from the disease.

Dr Matthew Hobbs, deputy director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “It is certainly interesting that, according to this research, certain physical characteristics appear to increase a man’s likelihood of developing aggressive prostate cancer, as it might provide pointers to help uncover certain genetic markers and early developmental processes which hold significance in terms of causing the disease to develop.

“It also underlines once again the importance of living a healthy lifestyle to help defend against a host of diseases, including prostate cancer.”

However, Hobbs stressed that the disease could affect men of all shapes and sizes.

In 2014, there were 46,960 new cases of prostate cancer and 11,287 deaths from the disease in the UK, according to Cancer Research UK. Dr Jasmine Just, the charity’s health information officer, said maintaining a healthy weight could help men reduce the risk of contracting a number of different cancers, but that the link between obesity and aggressive prostate cancer was still unclear.

“Further studies are also needed to understand if men who are overweight or obese might be at a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer and, if so, why,” she added.

Tall men at bigger risk of aggressive prostate cancer, study suggests

Tall men are at greater risk of contracting aggressive prostate cancer and of dying from the disease, the findings of a large study suggest.

British scientists found that every 10cm increment in height increased the chance of developing high-grade prostate cancer by 21% and the risk of death from the disease by 17%. They also found that obesity raised the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

The lead researcher, Dr Aurora Pérez-Cornago from Oxford University, said: “The finding of high risk in taller men may provide insights into the mechanisms underlying prostate cancer development – for example, related to early nutrition and growth.

“We also found that a healthy body weight is associated with a reduced risk of high-grade prostate cancer and death from prostate cancer years later.”

The study, published in BMC Medicine on Thursday, found that increased height was not associated with overall risk of contracting prostate cancer, but only with the aggressive forms of the disease.

Total prostate cancer risk was found to be related to body mass index and waist circumference, but the latter is considered a better proxy for obesity as muscular people can have a high BMI. Every extra 10cm on the waistline was associated with a 13% greater likelihood of having high-grade prostate cancer and an 18% bigger risk of dying from the disease.

Obesity has been linked to 11 common cancers, but the researchers believe their findings on weight could be – at least partially – a result of detection issues.

They say obese men may be less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, because they have lower concentrations of prostate-specific antigens, are less likely to undergo a biopsy and tend to have larger prostates, making detection more difficult. A reduced likelihood of early detection and treatment might lead to greater incidence of aggressive disease and higher mortality, the researchers suggest.

The analysis drew from data on 141,896 men, nearly all of whom were white, in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. After an average of 13.9 years of follow-up, there were 7,024 cases of prostate cancer, including 726 high-grade cases and 934 deaths from the disease.

Dr Matthew Hobbs, deputy director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “It is certainly interesting that, according to this research, certain physical characteristics appear to increase a man’s likelihood of developing aggressive prostate cancer, as it might provide pointers to help uncover certain genetic markers and early developmental processes which hold significance in terms of causing the disease to develop.

“It also underlines once again the importance of living a healthy lifestyle to help defend against a host of diseases, including prostate cancer.”

However, Hobbs stressed that the disease could affect men of all shapes and sizes.

In 2014, there were 46,960 new cases of prostate cancer and 11,287 deaths from the disease in the UK, according to Cancer Research UK. Dr Jasmine Just, the charity’s health information officer, said maintaining a healthy weight could help men reduce the risk of contracting a number of different cancers, but that the link between obesity and aggressive prostate cancer was still unclear.

“Further studies are also needed to understand if men who are overweight or obese might be at a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer and, if so, why,” she added.

Tall men at bigger risk of aggressive prostate cancer, study suggests

Tall men are at greater risk of contracting aggressive prostate cancer and of dying from the disease, the findings of a large study suggest.

British scientists found that every 10cm increment in height increased the chance of developing high-grade prostate cancer by 21% and the risk of death from the disease by 17%. They also found that obesity raised the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

The lead researcher, Dr Aurora Pérez-Cornago from Oxford University, said: “The finding of high risk in taller men may provide insights into the mechanisms underlying prostate cancer development – for example, related to early nutrition and growth.

“We also found that a healthy body weight is associated with a reduced risk of high-grade prostate cancer and death from prostate cancer years later.”

The study, published in BMC Medicine on Thursday, found that increased height was not associated with overall risk of contracting prostate cancer, but only with the aggressive forms of the disease.

Total prostate cancer risk was found to be related to body mass index and waist circumference, but the latter is considered a better proxy for obesity as muscular people can have a high BMI. Every extra 10cm on the waistline was associated with a 13% greater likelihood of having high-grade prostate cancer and an 18% bigger risk of dying from the disease.

Obesity has been linked to 11 common cancers, but the researchers believe their findings on weight could be – at least partially – a result of detection issues.

They say obese men may be less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, because they have lower concentrations of prostate-specific antigens, are less likely to undergo a biopsy and tend to have larger prostates, making detection more difficult. A reduced likelihood of early detection and treatment might lead to greater incidence of aggressive disease and higher mortality, the researchers suggest.

The analysis drew from data on 141,896 men, nearly all of whom were white, in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. After an average of 13.9 years of follow-up, there were 7,024 cases of prostate cancer, including 726 high-grade cases and 934 deaths from the disease.

Dr Matthew Hobbs, deputy director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “It is certainly interesting that, according to this research, certain physical characteristics appear to increase a man’s likelihood of developing aggressive prostate cancer, as it might provide pointers to help uncover certain genetic markers and early developmental processes which hold significance in terms of causing the disease to develop.

“It also underlines once again the importance of living a healthy lifestyle to help defend against a host of diseases, including prostate cancer.”

However, Hobbs stressed that the disease could affect men of all shapes and sizes.

In 2014, there were 46,960 new cases of prostate cancer and 11,287 deaths from the disease in the UK, according to Cancer Research UK. Dr Jasmine Just, the charity’s health information officer, said maintaining a healthy weight could help men reduce the risk of contracting a number of different cancers, but that the link between obesity and aggressive prostate cancer was still unclear.

“Further studies are also needed to understand if men who are overweight or obese might be at a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer and, if so, why,” she added.

Coffee ‘cuts risk of dying from heart disease’ – video

Research has found that drinking three or more cups of coffee a day can cut the risk of dying by between 8% and 18%. Scientists suggest drinking coffee lowers the risk of dying from a host of causes, including heart disease, stroke and liver disease. However, experts say it is unclear whether the health boost is down to the brew itself.

Meningitis vaccine may also cut risk of ‘untreatable’ gonorrhoea, study says

Hopes to fight untreatable strains of gonorrhoea have risen after it emerged that a new vaccine against meningitis unexpectedly reduced the risk of people getting the sexually transmitted infection.

Some strains of gonorrhoea are resistant to all available drugs, making vaccine development an urgent global health priority. But according to a study in The Lancet, a vaccine has offered protection against the sexually transmitted disease for the first time.

Gonorrhoea spreads through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex and many of those who contract the disease experience no symptoms. If left untreated, the disease can cause infertility and can increase the transmission of HIV infection.

A New Zealand meningitis epidemic in the early 2000s prompted the mass vaccination of a million people and fortuitously set the scene for the current study. The vaccine used, known as ‘MeNZB’, was designed to protect against meningococcal group B infection – the cause of the most deadly form of meningitis.

But intriguingly, over the next few years, scientists noticed fewer gonorrhoea cases than expected in those who had been vaccinated against meningitis.

Dr Helen Petousis-Harris, a vaccine specialist from the University of Auckland who led the study, was optimistic: “Some types of gonorrhoea are now resistant to every antibiotic we have, and there appeared [to be] little we could do to prevent the steady march of gonorrhoea to ‘superbug’ status. But now there’s hope,” she added.

The research team studied over 14,000 people aged 15-30 who’d been diagnosed with gonorrhoea at sexual health clinics across New Zealand and who had been eligible for the MeNZB vaccine during the emergency vaccination programme. They found vaccinated individuals were over 30% less likely to develop gonorrhoea.

Despite meningitis and gonorrhoea being very different illnesses, both are caused by bacteria from the same family and share much of the same genetic code, providing a possible explanation for the cross-protection that the team observed.

More than 78 million people worldwide get gonorrhoea each year with most infections in men and women under the age of 25. It is the second most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the UK after chlamydia. In England alone, almost 35,000 people were affected in 2014.

British Association for Sexual Health and HIV’s President, Dr Elizabeth Carlin, who was not involved in the study, was more sceptical: “These early findings are to be welcomed but it’s important to keep in perspective that the vaccine offered only “moderate” protection …. an individual receiving this vaccine remains susceptible to gonorrhoea but just less so than if unvaccinated.”

The MeNZB vaccine used in the current study is no longer manufactured, but Petousis-Harris has high hopes for a similar meningitis vaccine called ‘4CMenB’, available in many countries.

Petousis-Harris was clear about what needed to happen next. “We need an urgent assessment of current meningitis vaccines to see if they protect against gonorrhoea. It may be possible to eliminate many gonorrhoea infections using a vaccine with only moderate protection. It does not need to be perfect,” she added.

Coffee cuts risk of dying from stroke and heart disease, study suggests

People who drink coffee have a lower risk of dying from a host of causes, including heart disease, stroke and liver disease, research suggests – but experts say it’s unclear whether the health boost is down to the brew itself.

The connection, revealed in two large studies, was found to hold regardless of whether the coffee was caffeinated or not, with the effect higher among those who drank more cups of coffee a day.

But scientists say that the link might just be down to coffee-drinkers having healthier behaviours.

“It is plausible that there is something else behind this that is causing this relationship,” said Marc Gunter, a co-author of one of the studies, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

But, he added, based on the consistency of the results he would be surprised if coffee itself didn’t play a role in reducing the risk of death.

About 2.25bn cups of coffee are consumed worldwide every day. While previous studies have suggested coffee might have health benefits, the latest research involves large and diverse cohorts of participants.

The first study looked at coffee consumption among more than 185,000 white and non-white participants, recruited in the early 1990s and followed up for an average of over 16 years. The results revealed that drinking one cup of coffee a day was linked to a 12% lower risk of death at any age, from any cause while those drinking two or three cups a day had an 18% lower risk, with the association not linked to ethnicity.

“We found that coffee drinkers had a reduced risk of death from heart disease, from cancer, from stroke, respiratory disease, diabetes and kidney disease,” said Veronica Setiawan, associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California and a co-author of the research.

The second study – the largest of its kind – involved more than 450,000 participants, recruited between 1992 and 2000 across ten European countries, who were again followed for just over 16 years on average. “We felt this analysis would capture some of [the] variation in coffee preparation methods and drinking habits,” said Gunter.

After a range of factors including age, smoking status, physical activity and education were taken into account, those who drank three or more cups a day were found to have a 18% lower risk of death for men, and a 8% lower risk of death for women at any age, compared with those who didn’t drink the brew. The benefits were found to hold regardless of the country, although coffee drinking was not linked to a lower risk of death for all types of cancer.

The study also looked at a subset of 14,800 participants, finding that coffee-drinkers had better results on many biological markers including liver enzymes and glucose control. “We know many of these biological factors are related to different health outcomes, so it is another piece of the puzzle,” said Gunter.

But experts warn that the two studies, both published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, do not show that drinking coffee was behind the overall lower risk, pointing out that it could be that coffee drinkers are healthier in various ways or that those who are unwell drink less coffee.

In addition, levels of coffee-drinking were self-reported, some participants consumed both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, and the European study only looked at coffee consumption levels at one point in time – all factors which could have affected the results.

“It is not necessarily the coffee drinking per se, it is that fact that there are other things about your lifestyle or the lack of ill-health that might be causing the association,” said Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, pointing out that while coffee might have beneficial effects, it would take randomised trials to be sure.

Authors of both studies also agreed more work is needed, and said that it was unclear which of the many biologically active components within the coffee might potentially be driving the health benefits. “This is an observational study,” said Setiawan. “We cannot say, OK, [if] you drink coffee it is going to prolong your life.”

Gunter agreed. “I wouldn’t recommend people start rushing out drinking lots of coffee, but I think what it does suggests is drinking coffee certainly does you no harm,” he said. “It can be part of a healthy diet.”

Sattar also urged caution. “If people enjoy their coffee they can relax and enjoy their coffee,” he said, adding that people should not imagine that drinking extra coffee would militate against “other bad health behaviours”.