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Midlife coffee and tea drinking can decrease dementia risk later in life
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Midlife coffee and tea drinking can decrease dementia risk later in life

A new study has revealed that midlife coffee and tea drinking reduces a persons likelihood of suffering from dementia or Alzheimers disease later in life.

Washington, January 15 : A new study has revealed that midlife coffee and tea drinking reduces a person's likelihood of suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's disease later in life.

Published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, the study has been conducted at the University of Kuopio, Finland, in collaboration with Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and the National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland.

It included participants from the survivors of population-based cohorts previously surveyed within the North Karelia Project and the FINMONICA study in 1972, 1977, 1982 or 1987 (midlife visit).

The researchers behind the study have revealed that after an average follow-up of 21 years, 1409 individuals (71%) aged 65 to 79 completed the re-examination in 1998.

According to them, a total of 61 cases were identified as demented.

"We aimed to study the association between coffee and tea consumption at midlife and dementia/AD risk in late-life, because the long-term impact of caffeine on the central nervous system was still unknown, and as the pathologic processes leading to Alzheimer's disease may start decades before the clinical manifestation of the disease," says lead researcher, associate professor Miia Kivipelto, from the University of Kuopio, Finland and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

The researchers further revealed that the midlife consumption of coffee and tea was assessed with a previously validated semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire.

They said that coffee drinking was categorized into three groups: 0-2 cups (low), 3-5 cups (moderate) and more than 5 cups (high) per day.

They further said that the question concerning tea consumption was dichotomised into those who did not drink tea and those who took 1 cup/day.

Upon analysis, the researchers observed that coffee drinkers at midlife had lower risk for dementia and AD later in life, compared to those drinking no or only little coffee.

The lowest risk, that is a 65 per cent decrease in likelihood, was found among moderate coffee drinkers, who drank 3-5 cups of coffee/day.

The researchers said that adjustments for various confounders did not change the results.

They noted that tea drinking was relatively uncommon, and was not associated with dementia/AD.

Kivipelto also said: "Given the large amount of coffee consumption globally, the results might have important implications for the prevention of or delaying the onset of dementia/AD.

The finding needs to be confirmed by other studies, but it opens the possibility that dietary interventions could modify the risk of dementia/AD. Also, identification of mechanisms of how coffee exerts its protection against dementia/AD might help in the development of new therapies for these diseases."

The study has been reported in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.


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