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Two separate studies, both published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week, reached similar conclusions: consuming at least a cup of coffee daily was associated with living a longer, healthier life.

The first study was led by researchers at the University of Southern California, in collaboration with the University of Hawaii Cancer Center.

The team analyzed data from 185,855 participants enrolled in the Multiethnic Cohort Study, which is considered the most ethnically diverse study to examine lifestyle risk factors that may lead to cancer, according to a USC release on the findings.

The breakdown of participants included: African Americans (17 percent), Native Hawaiians (seven percent), Japanese-Americans (29 percent), Latinos (22 percent) and whites (25 percent) ages 45 to 75 at recruitment. Participants answered questions about diet, lifestyle, and family and personal medical history.

The participants also reported their coffee drinking habits at the start of the study period, and again every five years. They could choose from nine responses, ranging from “never or hardly ever” consume coffee, to the opposite extreme of “four or more cups daily.” They also identified whether they drank caffeinated or decaffeinated. On average, the participants were followed for about 16 years.

According to the study, 16 percent of participants said they did not drink coffee, 31 percent drank one cup per day, 25 percent drank two to three cups per day and seven percent drank four or more cups per day. The remaining 21 percent had irregular coffee consumption habits.

The study authors found that drinking one cup of coffee per day—regardless of whether it was decaf or regular—correlated to a 12 percent lower risk of death from heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, respiratory and kidney disease compared to those who didn’t drink any coffee.

Those that drank two to three cups a day had an 18 percent reduced chance of death.

Cancer and cardiovascular disease were the two leading causes of death for the 58,397 participants who died during the study time frame.

"Seeing a similar pattern across different populations gives stronger biological backing to the argument that coffee is good for you whether you are white, African-American, Latino or Asian," said Veronica Setiawan, lead author and associate professor of preventative medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at USC.

Setiawan is now researching how coffee is associated with the risk of developing specific cancers.

The second study involved more than 450,000 participants from 10 European countries who were also followed for an average of 16 years. They were recruited between 1992 and 2000 for the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

The European study found an 18 percent lower risk of death for men who drank at least three cups of coffee daily, and an eight percent lower risk of death for women. These findings were consistent across all countries included. Additionally, this study also found that in a subset of 14,800 participants, coffee consumers had better results on a variety of biological markers, including enzymes and glucose control.

However, what both studies failed to do was determine which chemicals within coffee may be behind the observed health benefits. Both teams did note that additional research is needed to prove causation.

"We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association," said Setiawan. "If you like to drink coffee, drink up! If you're not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start."

According to the USC study, about 62 percent of Americans drink coffee daily, which is a five percent increase from 2016.

Coffee continues to be a hot topic of research, and studies have found evidence of both health benefits, as well as adverse effects. Another recent study reported that Italian-style coffee protected men from prostate cancer, while another in November 2016 linked coffee with a reduction in cognitive decline. But others have suggested coffee drinkers may be at higher risk of certain cancers.

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