Caffeine Consumption Linked to A Longer Life for CKD Patients

Consuming caffeine—the more the better—may help reduce the risk of early death among patients with chronic kidney disease, suggests a study presented at Kidney Week.

Drinking coffee has previously been shown to reduce the risk of an early death among the general population. Caffeine consumption has also been linked to better outcomes from some chronic diseases. For example, studies have shown that coffee and tea consumption help reduce the risk of death in patients with liver disease (Modi AA, et al. Hepatology 2010; 51:201–209), by exerting beneficial effects on the liver (Louise JM, et al. J Hepatol 2017; 67:339–348). Now, Miguel Bigotte Vieira, MD, of the Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte in Portugal, and his colleagues show that regular caffeine consumption may also yield life gains for CKD patients.

In their study, Bigotte Viera and colleagues looked at mortality rates in 2328 patients with CKD who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 1999 and 2010. The NHANES collects detailed health and nutritional data on a nationally representative sample of the US population.

Caffeine consumption was assessed based on reports of 24-hour consumption at the outset of the survey. The study grouped patients into 4 categories of caffeine consumption. The first consumed less than 29.5 mg/day of caffeine. That amount is less than the amount found in an iced tea, based on estimates from the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The second consumed between 30.5 to 101.0 mg/day—about the amount found in a soda or a cup of instant coffee. The third consumed between 101.5 and 206.0 mg/day—about the amount found in a cup or two of coffee. The fourth group consumed 206.5 to 1378.5 mg/day—the equivalent of multiple cups of coffee a day.

Compared with those in the lowest group of caffeine consumption those in the second group had a 12% reduction in the risk of dying (HR 0.88, 95% CI, 0.68–1.44). The benefits were even larger for the 3rd and 4th groups with a 22% (95% CI, 0.60–1.01) and 24% (95% CI, 0.59–0.97) lower risk of dying, respectively.

“Our study showed a dose-dependent protective effect of caffeine consumption on mortality among patients with CKD,” said Bigotte Vieira. He noted the benefit persisted even when they adjusted for potential confounders like socioeconomic status, health factors, and other nutritional habits. He cautioned, however, that this observational study can’t prove the survival benefit was caused by caffeine consumption.

“These results suggest that advising patients with CKD to drink more caffeine may reduce their mortality,” he suggested. “This would represent a simple, clinically beneficial, and inexpensive option, though this benefit should ideally be confirmed in a randomized clinical trial.”

“Caffeine consumption and mortality in chronic kidney disease” (Abstract 2784081)

December 2017 (Vol. 9, Number 12)