Drinking plenty of coffee could help to reduce your chances of dying young, a major new medical study has found.
The study tracked around 20,000 Spanish people with an average age of 37, over a significant period of time. It found that people who drank at least four cups of coffee a day had a 64% lower risk of death than occasional and non-coffee drinkers.
"We found an inverse association between drinking coffee and the risk of all-cause mortality, particularly in people aged 45 years and above. This may be due to a stronger protective association among older participants," said the study's co-author, Dr. Adela Navarro, a cardiologist at Hospital de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.
Responding to the study's findings, Dr. Navarro added: "I would advise drink plenty of coffee, it could be good for your heart. I think it's a good idea to have about four cups a day."
However, it's worth pointing out that the study was merely "observational" and didn't track the potential impact of the participants' other lifestyle choices - how often they exercised, for example, or how much alcohol they consumed - on life expectancy.
Professor Metin Akvkiran of the British Heart Foundation warned coffee lovers not to use the study as carte blanche to up their caffeine consumption unnecessarily.
"This study suggests there may be an association between drinking coffee and living longer, but it doesn’t prove a causal link or explain how coffee might be having this effect," Professor Avkiran told The Independent.
"Coffee drinkers should certainly not rest on their laurels. The best way to minimise your risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death is to concentrate on an overall healthy lifestyle - eat a balanced diet, stay active and don’t smoke - rather than lining up the lattes."