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Coffee might be Able to Lower Death Risk Caused by Liver Cirrhosis

Update Date: Apr 04, 2014 02:42 PM EDT
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In a new study, researchers examined the relationship between one's lifestyle and risk of death due to liver cirrhosis. After analyzing data that included diet, habits and medical history, researchers concluded that drinking at least one cup of coffee might actually help reduce one's death risk from liver cirrhosis.

For this study, the researchers had information on 63,275 Chinese people from Singapore. The participants were between the ages of 45 and 74. The study started in 1993 and the participants were followed for around 15 years as a part of the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Over that time span, 114 of them died from liver cirrhosis. 33 of the deaths were caused by viral hepatitis, two were from hepatitis C, and 14 were from alcohol-caused cirrhosis.

The researchers found that people who drank two or more cups of coffee per day had a 66 percent reduced risk of death caused by liver cirrhosis. However, coffee was only tied to liver cirrhosis cases that were caused by non-viral hepatitis. Liver cirrhosis can be caused by other factors such as excessive drinking or drug use.

"This finding resolves the seemingly conflicting results on the effect of coffee in Western and Asian-based studies of death from liver cirrhosis," lead researcher, Dr. Woon-Puay Koh of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore and the National University of Singapore said reported by Philly. "Our finding suggests that while the benefit of coffee may be less apparent in the Asian population where chronic viral hepatitis B predominates currently, this is expected to change as the incidence of non-viral hepatitis-related cirrhosis is expected to increase in these regions."

Liver cirrhosis is a disease that replaces healthy liver tissue with scarred tissue. As the disease progresses, the liver starts to fail and stops functioning properly. The World Health Organization reported that liver cirrhosis is responsible for 1.3 percent of all annual deaths throughout the world. The study, "Coffee, alcohol and other beverages in relation to cirrhosis mortality: the Singapore Chinese Health Study," was published in the journal, Hepatology.

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