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Drink coffee, live longer?

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There may be a god after all if this study is accurate.

Men who drank 2 to 3 cups a day had a 10 percent chance of outliving those who drank no coffee, while women had a 13 percent advantage, according to research published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study by researchers at the National Cancer Institute is the largest to compare coffee drinkers with those who avoid it to determine whether the beverage can delay the risk of dying from ailments such as heart disease, diabetes or respiratory illness, said Neal Freedman, the lead study author. It’s unclear why coffee may be beneficial and more research is needed to study that question, he said.

The results “offer a little bit of reassurance to coffee drinkers who like drinking coffee that it won’t affect health,” said Freedman, an investigator at the NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics in Rockville, Maryland, in a May 14 telephone interview. “It doesn’t seem to increase one’s risk of dying.”

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