Coffee And Kidney Disease…Could Your Risk Be Lowered By An Extra Cup?


Coffee and kidney disease is a combination that’s generally frowned upon, but those at risk of developing CKD may be able to prevent it from striking by increasing their coffee consumption, a new study shows. 

According to a recent publication in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, people who consume a high amount of coffee on a daily basis are less susceptible to chronic kidney disease – after the appropriate covariates were adjusted by the researchers.

14,209 participants were studied for this research, all between the ages of 45 and 64, conducted in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. The participants were registered between 1987 and 1989, after which there were follow-ups in 1990 to 1992 (visit 2), 1993 to 1995 (visit 3), 1996 to 1998 (visit 4) and 2011 to 2013 (visit 5).

The coffee consumption of participants was observed in this research using a 66-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. This questionnaire was issued out to each participant on visits 1 and 3. The aim was to ascertain how frequently an 8-ounce cup of non-decaffeinated coffee was consumed by each participant.

The options on the questionnaire included almost never, 1 to 3 cups per month, 1 cup per week, 2 to 4 cups per week, 5 to 6 cups per week, 1 cup per day, 2 to 3 cups per day, 4 to 6 cups per day and more than 6 cups per day. About 44% maintained their answers from the initial questionnaire while about one-quarter of them changed their answers in just one category. It was observed that these categorical responses were changed into cups per week as a continuous variable.

3,845 participants were followed up on as the median figure 24 years after the study and it was observed that 27% of them had developed chronic kidney disease. Those who consumed higher quantities of coffee seemed to have lower incidence of the illness with their figure ranging between 10 to 16% lower risk.

The following findings were also made from this same report based on the daily consumption of coffee and kidney disease association:

  • People who consumed less than a cup were linked with 10% lower risk for CKD
  • There was also 10% lower risk for people who consumed 1 to 2 cups daily
  • 2 to 3 cups consumers were linked with 13% lower risk for CKD 
  • 3 or more cup consumers had 16% lower risk for CKD

Each additional cup consumed per day was then associated with a 3% lower risk. It was also on record that there was an average 11% lower risk for participants who recorded that they consumed any amount of coffee, when compared to the participants who never consumed coffee.

281 cases of ESRD were reported during the median follow up that was done 25 years later. While there was a lower risk of kidney failure, which was associated with kidney disease, no one was able to establish a linear trend across coffee consumption and other causes of kidney failure.

Just a friendly NOTE about coffee and kidney disease sufferers…if you are going to start drinking coffee, start with just 1 cup a day. Although this study shows promising results for people who may be at risk for developing CKD, those who already have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease shouldn’t change their approach to coffee merely because of the information presented in this study.