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Could your cup of coffee be killing you?

Friday - 8/16/2013, 8:44am  ET

coffee (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
A study found that the magic number for safe consumption came to 28 cups of coffee a week. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

WASHINGTON - You may want to think twice before grabbing another cup of Joe after a new study found that heavy coffee consumption is associated with a higher death risk for some.

The study, which the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings released Thursday, says men and women younger than 55 years old experienced a "positive association between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality."

The study found the magic number for safe consumption came to 28 cups of coffee a week or about four cups a day. Among U.S. coffee drinkers, the average adult gulps down 3.1 cups a day, according to the study.

Researchers found that men who drank more than 28 cups of coffee a week had a 21 percent higher risk of dying compared with their non-coffee-drinking peers.

Coffee-consuming men and women less than 55 years old who guzzle more than 28 cups of coffee per week had a higher risk of all-cause mortality than those who did not drink coffee, according to the study. However, the study says coffee consumption was not associated with all-cause mortality for men and women more than 55 years old.

Based on the findings, researchers recommend younger people scale back heavy coffee consumption to average less than four cups of coffee a day.

Drinking coffee may have some health benefits, too. Other studies found that moderate java consumption might ward off the recurrence of breast cancer, Type 2 diabetes, prostate cancer, oral cancer, basal cell carcinoma and Alzheimer's disease.

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