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Be Well: Drinking more coffee may lower diabetes risk, study finds

Drinking more coffee may lower diabetes risk, study finds

Increasing coffee intake by more than one cup a day over a four-year period might lower a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a study led by Harvard School of Public Health researchers.

They looked at tea and coffee consumption of nearly 100,000 women who participated in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital-based Nurses’ Health Study and nearly 28,000 men who were part of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The participants were asked about their diet every four years for more than a decade, and those who reported developing type 2 diabetes were asked additional questions. More than 7,000 reported having diabetes.

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Over four years, those who increased their coffee consumption by more than one 8-ounce cup per day had an 11 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared with those who did not change their coffee-drinking habits. In contrast, those who began drinking at least a cup per day less coffee had a 17 percent greater risk of the disease. There was no significant change in risk among those who altered their consumption of tea or decaffeinated coffee.

BOTTOM LINE: Increasing coffee intake by more than one cup a day might lower a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes.

CAUTIONS: The study relied on self-reports of beverage consumption so the findings may not be accurate, and it relied on data from health professionals so the findings may not apply to a wider group. The study does not prove a cause and effect relationship between coffee consumption and type 2 diabetes.

WHERE TO FIND IT: Diabetologia, April 24

Education level linked to brain injury recovery

People with more schooling might be better able to recover from a traumatic brain injury, a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins found.

The scientists looked at medical records of 769 adults age 23 and older who had suffered at least one serious traumatic brain injury that required rehabilitation. The majority of the brain injuries were a result of car accidents or falls. The researchers grouped the participants based on education levels and measured disability levels using a standard scale a year after their injury.

Those who had graduated from high school were about seven times more likely than high school dropouts to show no signs of disability a year later. The higher the participants’ level of education, the less likely they were to still be disabled.

High school graduates may have more “cognitive reserve,” meaning their brains may be more able to function and recover, the authors wrote.

BOTTOM LINE: People with a higher education level may recover more from a traumatic brain injury.

CAUTIONS: The measurement used to assess disability was subjective.

WHERE TO FIND IT: Neurology, April 23


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