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Coffee consumption and liver-related hospitalizations and deaths in the ARIC study



Coffee consumption has been found to be associated with reduced risk of chronic conditions such as liver disease. However, less is known about the association between coffee and liver-related hospitalizations and deaths.


We conducted a prospective analysis on 14,208 participants aged 45–64 years from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Coffee consumption (cups/day) was assessed using food frequency questionnaires at visit 1 (1987–89) and visit 3 (1993–95). Liver-related hospitalizations were defined as a hospitalization with any International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) code related to liver disease identified through cohort surveillance. Liver-related death was defined as any death with a liver disease ICD-9 code listed anywhere on the death certificate form.


There were 833 incident cases of liver-related hospitalizations over a median follow-up of 24 years and 152 liver-related deaths over a median follow-up of 25 years. Participants who were in the highest category of coffee consumption (≥ 3 cups/day) were more likely to be men, whites, current smokers, and current alcohol drinkers. In our fully adjusted model, consuming ≥ 3 cups/day of coffee was significantly associated with a reduced risk of liver-related hospitalizations compared with never drinkers (hazard ratio: 0.79, 95% CI: 0.63–0.99). There were no significant associations between coffee consumption and liver-related deaths after adjusting for covariates.


Coffee drinkers may be at lower risk for liver-related hospitalizations. This supports current evidence that low and moderate levels of coffee may be protective to the liver.

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We thank the staff and participants of the ARIC study for their important contributions. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study has been funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract nos. (HHSN268201700001I, HHSN268201700002I, HHSN268201700003I, HHSN268201700004I, HHSN268201700005I). Ms. Hu was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (training grant T32 HL007024). Dr. Rebholz was supported by a mentored research scientist development award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (K01 DK107782). Dr. Selvin was supported by NIH/NIDDK grants K24DK106414 and R01DK089174.

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Correspondence to Casey M. Rebholz.

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Hu, E.A., Lazo, M., Selvin, E. et al. Coffee consumption and liver-related hospitalizations and deaths in the ARIC study. Eur J Clin Nutr 73, 1133–1140 (2019).

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