Coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of incident chronic kidney disease (CKD), a recent systematic review and meta-analysis confirmed.

The meta-analysis of pooled data from 4 cohort studies with a total of 25,849 participants found that coffee drinkers had a significant 13% decreased risk of incident CKD compared with nondrinkers, investigators Thatsaphan Srithongkul, MD, and Patompong Ungprasert, MD, MS, of the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, reported in the European Journal of Internal Medicine.

When the investigators applied a stricter definition of coffee drinkers (participants who drank at least 1 cup per day on average), coffee consumption was significantly associated with a 14% decreased risk of incident CKD.

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The current study is the first systematic review and meta-analysis to explore the risk of incident CKD among coffee drinkers compared with non-drinkers, Drs Srithongkul and Ungprasert noted.

“All of the included studies comprehensively adjusted their effect estimates for comorbidity and other potential confounders, suggest that coffee itself was responsible for the lower risk,” the authors wrote. “However, the exact mechanisms that could lead to the reno-protective effect of coffee are not known with certainty and further investigations are required.”

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The most plausible explanation is related to anti-oxidative effects of coffee as atherosclerotic injury to the kidneys is among the most common underlying mechanisms in the pathogenesis of CKD, according to the investigators. In vitro and clinical studies have demonstrated that caffeine has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce oxidative stress, they noted.


Srithongkul T, Ungprasert P. Coffee consumption is associated with a decreased risk of incident chronic kidney disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies [published online April 18]. Eur J Intern Med. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2020.04.018