Coffee and Suicide

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  We’ve all seen the coffee mug or tea shirt that declares  “Give me coffee and no one gets hurt…”  and that draw a knowing chuckle from many of us. But this study show how true it is!  The more coffee consumption, the fewer suicides!


Coffee, caffeine, and risk of completed suicide: Results from three prospective cohorts of American adults

Posted online on July 2, 2013.

1Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health,  Boston, MA, USA


Objective.To evaluate the association between coffee and caffeine consumption and suicide risk in three large-scale cohorts of US men and women. Methods. We accessed data of 43,599 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS, 1988-2008), 73,820 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS, 1992-2008), and 91,005 women in the NHS II (1993-2007). Consumption of caffeine, coffee, and decaffeinated coffee, was assessed every 4 years by validated food-frequency questionnaires. Deaths from suicide were determined by physician review of death certificates. Multivariate adjusted relative risks (RRs) were estimated with Cox proportional hazard models. Cohort specific RRs were pooled using random-effect models. Results. We documented 277 deaths from suicide. Compared to those consuming ≤ 1 cup/week of caffeinated coffee (< 8 oz/237 ml), the pooled multivariate RR (95% confidence interval [CI]) of suicide was 0.55 (0.38-0.78) for those consuming 2-3 cups/day and 0.47 (0.27-0.81) for those consuming ≥ 4 cups/day (P trend < 0.001). The pooled multivariate RR (95% CI) for suicide was 0.75 (0.63-0.90) for each increment of 2 cups/day of caffeinated coffee and 0.77 (0.63-0.93) for each increment of 300 mg/day of caffeine.

Conclusions. These results from three large cohorts support an association between caffeine consumption and lower risk of suicide.

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