Why Coffee Is Good For Many Hispanics' Health

Are you a Hispanic? Do you like coffee? Well good news, your fondness for that “cup of joe” can be showing you liver some love.

Drinking 2 or more cups of coffee daily could reduce an individual’s risk of death from liver cirrhosis (liver scarring) by as much as 66 percent; great news for Hispanics who are disproportionately affected by this medical condition in the United States.

Cirrhosis of the liver can be caused by a number of factors, including exposure to hepatitis viruses, alcohol abuse, obesity, and diabetes—all issues the Hispanic population faces, making liver cirrhosis and liver disease one of the primary diseases affecting this demographic.

According to the Office of Minority Health (OMH), Hispanics–men and women– are twice as likely to suffer from chronic liver disease compared to non-Hispanic whites. Hispanic men are 1.7 times more likely to die from liver disease than non-Hispanic white men, and Hispanic women are 1.8 times more likely to die from the condition compared to non-Hispanic white women.

So could coffee really help reduce the risk of liver cirrhosis? Experts are saying yes, and Hispanics might just want to consider the data.

According to a new study published in the journal Hepatology, researchers focused on the effects coffee, alcohol, black tea, green tea and soft drinks have on mortality risks from cirrhosis. Of all the products tested, only coffee had any impact on cirrhosis mortality. Coffee intake was linked with a lower risk of death from cirrhosis, and the researchers note this was particularly the case for non-viral hepatitis related cirrhosis.

Coffee had no impact on morality in cases such as that of viral hepatitis B.

“This finding resolves the seemingly conflicting results on the effect of coffee in Western and Asian-based studies of death from liver cirrhosis,” said study author Dr. Woon-Puay Koh, as reported by MNT.

“Our finding suggests that while the benefit of coffee may be less apparent in the Asian population where chronic viral hepatitis B predominates currently, this is expected to change as the incidence of non-viral hepatitis related cirrhosis is expected to increase in these regions, accompanying the increasing affluence and westernizing lifestyles amongst their younger populations.”

To further bolster their study, Koh and his team also included information from a prospective population-based study called The Singapore Chinese Health Study, which involved over 63,000 Chinese subjects. Of the 14,928 of the study participants died in this time, 114 died from liver cirrhosis during the 15-year project.

Researchers were able to link the low mortality rate to the rate of coffee consumption, also finding a correlation between increased liver cirrhosis and daily alcohol intake.

For Hispanics, the data may offer another way to decrease their risk for this serious medical complication.
“Chronic liver disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among Hispanic people living in the United States,” stated a research published in 2011’s Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. “Environmental, genetic, and behavioral factors, as well as socioeconomic and health care disparities among this ethnic group have emerged as important public health concerns.”



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