Drinking as little as two cups of coffee a day can increase your life expectancy by up to two years, according to researchers.

The research, published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, was conducted by analysing previous studies on the benefits of drinking coffee.

By looking at 40 studies including 3,852,651 subjects and 450,256 causes of death, researchers found that drinking coffee had an inverse association with all-cause mortality - “irrespective of age, overweight status, alcohol drinking, smoking status, and caffeine content of coffee”.

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According to researchers, moderate coffee consumption, such as two to four cups a day, “was associated with reduced all-cause and cause-specific mortality, compared to no coffee consumption”.

In addition to increasing life expectancy, drinking coffee also reduces the risk of developing and dying from cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory disease.

The study was conducted to examine the association between coffee and mortality “in various subpopulations by characteristics of subjects,” such as ageing, obesity and other lifestyle factors that impact mortality.

In Europe and Asia, the link between coffee and mortality was stronger than the inverse association in the US, according to the study. 

This is not the first time the health benefits of consuming coffee have been reported - the beverage has previously been linked to the ability to slow the growth of prostate cancer, overall improved heart health, and a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.

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Of the findings, Astrid Nehlig, a research director at France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research, told The Sunday Times: “It is difficult to calculate, but my feeling is that drinking coffee possibly adds another couple of years to your life” and that the increased focus and alertness may be partly the reason.

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