Greater intake of caffeine is associated with a lower risk of death among individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a new study.

Compared with individuals in the first quartile of caffeine consumption (less than 28.20 mg/day), those in the second, third, and fourth quartiles (28.20–103.00, 103.01–213.50, and greater than 213.50 mg/day, respectively) had a 26%, 25%, and 25% decreased risk of death after adjusting for age, smoking status, gender, race, CKD stage, and numerous comorbidities and other potential confounders, Miguel Bigotte Vieira, MD, of the Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte in Lisbon, Portugal, and colleagues reported online ahead of print in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation.

The study found no significant association between caffeine consumption and either cardiovascular- or cancer-related mortality. In addition, the investigators found no significant interactions between caffeine intake quartiles and CKD sages or urinary albumin-creatinine ratio categories with respect to all-cause mortality. “Consequently, caffeine consumption appears to be safe through different stages of kidney disease,” the authors stated.

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The study included 4863 individuals with CKD identified using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–2010. Of these, 1283 individuals died during a median follow-up of 60 months. CKD was defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate of 15–60 mL/min/1.73 m2 and/or a urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio greater than 30 mg/g. Caffeine intake was evaluated by 24-hour dietary recalls at baseline.

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“If these results are to be confirmed by prospective studies, advising these patients to drink more caffeine may reduce their mortality,” the authors concluded. “This would be a simple, clinically beneficial and inexpensive option in patients with CKD.”


Vieira MB, Magriço R, Dias CV, et al. Caffeine consumption and mortality in chronic kidney disease: a nationally representative analysis. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2018; published online ahead of print.