Coffee may have another perk for kidney patients


According to new research involving nearly 5 000 people with chronic kidney disease, a hike in daily caffeine intake appeared to lower their odds of an early death.
The benefit remained “even after considering other important factors such as age, gender, race, smoking, other diseases and diet,” according to one of the study’s lead authors, Miguel Bigotte Vieira, of North Lisbon Hospital Center in Portugal.
In the study, Vieira’s team tracked data on 4 863 US chronic kidney disease patients monitored from 1999 to 2010.
Although the study couldn’t prove cause-and-effect, it found that greater caffeine intake was tied to greater life expectancy for people with chronic kidney disease.
Compared to those who consumed very little caffeine per day, people with caffeine intake in the high range had about a 25% lower risk of death over an average follow-up of five years.
People who consumed the most caffeine tended to be white and male, with more education and higher incomes. They were also more likely to be current or former smokers and heavier drinkers than those who drank only small amounts of caffeine.
The findings were published earlier in September in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation.
According to the researchers, chronic kidney disease affects 14% of American adults, leading to higher health care costs and a greater risk of death.
So, simply drinking more coffee or other caffeine-laden beverages “would represent a simple, clinically beneficial and inexpensive option, though this benefit should ideally be confirmed in a randomized clinical trial,” Vieira said in a journal news release.
One US endocrinologist who wasn’t connected to the study said there could be physiologic reasons behind the benefit.
“Coffee has had a bad reputation, but this study showed that people who drink coffee did better,” said Dr Robert Courgi, of Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, New York.
“Perhaps it is because coffee may help the blood vessels function better through nitric oxide,” he said. Nitric oxide is a key player in healthy blood vessel function.
While drinking too much coffee could have negative health effects such as insomnia and anxiety, many studies found strong associations between moderate intake and protective effects for various parts of the body. For instance, this year, researchers suggested a few cups of coffee could improve heart function.
Consuming more caffeine may help reduce the risk of death for people with chronic kidney disease. Newly published findings shed light on this link after analyzing data on more than 4,000 American people who were observed over a decade.
“Our study showed a protective effect of caffeine consumption among patients with chronic kidney disease,” said lead author Miguel Bigotte Vieira, noting how the reduction in mortality was present even after considering other factors. “

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