Lead researcher, Dr. Woon-Puay Koh with Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore and the National University of Singapore, said prior evidence suggests that coffee may reduce liver damage in patients with chronic liver disease.
He said that their study examined the effects of consuming coffee, alcohol, black tea, green tea, and soft drinks on risk of mortality from cirrhosis.
This prospective population-based study, known as The Singapore Chinese Health Study, recruited 63,275 Chinese subjects between the ages of 45 and 74 living in Singapore.
Participants provided information on diet, lifestyle choices, and medical history during in-person interviews conducted between 1993 and 1998. Patients were followed for an average of nearly 15 years, during which time there were 14,928 deaths (24 per cent); 114 of them died from liver cirrhosis. The mean age of death was 67 years.
Findings indicate that those who drank at least 20 g of ethanol daily had a greater risk of cirrhosis mortality compared to non-drinker. In contrast, coffee intake was associated with a lower risk of death from cirrhosis, specifically for non-viral hepatitis related cirrhosis.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a chronic liver disease related to the metabolic syndrome and more sedentary affluent lifestyle, likely predominates among the non-viral hepatitis related cirrhosis group. In fact, subjects who drank two or more cups per day had a 66 per cent reduction in mortality risk, compared to non-daily coffee drinkers.
The findings have been published in journal Hepatology.