More coffee please: Coffee could halve mortality rates for HIV and HCV patients

By Emma Cash

- Last updated on GMT

©iStock/ratmanner
©iStock/ratmanner
Patients with HIV and HCV should drink three cups of coffee a day to halve the risk of all-cause mortality, according to a new study on the potential benefits of the drink.

A research team from the Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, Hôpital Cochin and the Université Paris Descartes, France, have investigated the effects of drinking coffee on patients co-infected with both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV).

HIV and HCV patients are at risk of end-stage liver disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as HIV accelerating the progression of chronic hepatitis C to fibrosis and development of cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease.

Protective powers

Coffee has a wealth of suggested health benefits including reducing cardiovascular disease​ risk and preventing cognitive diseases​ such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Furthermore, a previous study has suggested that drinking four cups​ of coffee per day could lead to longer life within the general public.

This could be due to the properties of polyphenols in the coffee which protect the liver and reduce inflammation.

This recent study, published in Journal of Hepatology​, has looked at the effects of coffee consumption on a specific group of people and is the first study to look at the effects on patients with HIV and HCV.

“This is a very exciting time for HCV research as a cure that can eradicate the virus is now available for all patients,” ​said Dr Dominique Salmon-Céron, lead study author from the Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, Hôpital Cochin, and Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France.

“However, even when cured of HCV, patients co-infected with HIV have a higher risk of death with respect to the general population, due to an accelerated aging process that may result from cancer, complications related to diabetes and to liver disease, and from cardiovascular events.”

The researchers used data from participants of the ANRS CO13-HEPAVIH cohort – an on-going French nationwide prospective cohort of HIV-HCV co-infected patients that collects both medical and psychosocial/behavioural data over time using annual self-administered questionnaires

Study results 

After collecting data from a five-year follow up of 1, 028 people, the researchers were able to find the correlation between increased coffee consumption and mortality rates.

The data showed that at enrolment one in four patients were drinking at least three cups of coffee a daily, which was associated with a 50% reduction in total mortality risk.

This was after taking into consideration HCV clearance, HIV- and HCV- related factors and socio-behavioural factors including having a steady partner and smoking.

There were 77 deaths recorded over the five years of data collection, of which almost half (33) were caused by hepatitis C.

Other causes of death were unrelated cancers and Aids.

Coffee consumption and not smoking were noted as especially reducing the risk of all-cause mortality in the patients monitored throughout the study, which the authors say could help promote healthy behaviours in patients with HIV and HCV.

Even those who cannot tolerate caffeine can still benefit from the benefits of coffee by drinking decaffeinated coffee.

“I think we need to better monitor coffee consumption, together with other behaviours, such as alcohol use, smoking, physical activity, and to propose interventions to our patents which facilitate healthy behaviours even after HCV clearance. We also suggest that those patients who cannot tolerate a high intake of caffeine should consider drinking a few cups of decaffeinated coffee a day,” ​said Dr Salmon-Céron.

“Accordingly, I believe that the benefits of coffee extracts and supplementing dietary intake with other anti-inflammatory compounds need to be evaluated in HIV-HCV patients.”

The research team used a Cox proportional hazards model to estimate the effect of elevated coffee consumption on all-cause mortality and data was collected through self-administered questionnaires.

Study: Protective effect of coffee consumption on all-cause mortality of French HIV-HCV co-infected patients

Source: Journal of Hepatology

Published online, DOi: 10.1016/j.jhrp.2017.08.005

Authors: Maria Patrizia Carrier, Camelia Protopopescu, Fabienne Marcellin, Silvia Rosellini, Linda Wittkop, Laure Esterle, David Zucman, François Raffi, Eric Rosenthal, Isabelle Poizot-Martin, Dominique Salmon-Céron, François Dabis, Bruno Spire

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