Coffee Goodness/Badness Question Re-Settled Again

The question “Is coffee good or bad for your health” just got settled once and for all again, with a new answer that contradicts many previous studies, again. A new study presents a conclusion that answers everything, or nothing, or both:

Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality,” Neal D. Freedman, Ph.D. [pictured here], Yikyung Park, Sc.D., Christian C. Abnet, Ph.D., Albert R. Hollenbeck, Ph.D., and Rashmi Sinha, Ph.D., New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 366, May 17, 2012, pp. 1891-1904. The authors report:

“CONCLUSIONS: In this large prospective study, coffee consumption was inversely associated with total and cause-specific mortality. Whether this was a causal or associational finding cannot be determined from our data.”

BONUS: A look at the study and some of its predecessors.

BONUS: A different look at it, with this stirring passage:

In addition, the researchers note that they lacked specifics on how study participants prepared their coffee, and it could be that healthful and/or harmful attributes of the coffee might change depending on how it is prepared.

Still, they note, this study was larger than any previous study, and the number of deaths (>52,000) was more than double that in any earlier study.

BONUS: A headline (in the Atlantic Health Blog, about about this same study), that draws its own conclusion: “NIH Study: Coffee Really Does Make You Live Longer, After All