The Good Buzzed Life

Depression is less likely in women who drink more coffee

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Millions, if not billions of people around the world grab a cup of coffee to start their day. Did you ever stop to think it might be boosting your spirits while keeping you awake?

Caffeine is the most widely used stimulant in the entire world and nearly 80 percent of caffeine is consumed in the form of coffee. Who doesn’t like a cup of coffee every now and then? If you don’t, you might want to start because researchers found coffee benefits women’s mental health.

"Drink a cup of coffee every now and then."

Michael Lucas, Ph.D., R.D., from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues found women who drank more coffee had a less likely chance of becoming depressed later in life. There was no association found between decaffeinated coffee and depression.

The study included 50,739 women who were on average 63 years old. None of the women were diagnosed with depression and were free of depressive symptoms at the beginning of the study in 1996. Questionnaires were administered to participants to determine caffeine consumption.

After ten years of follow up, there were 2,607 reported cases of depression. Women who drank two to three cups of coffee per day had a 15 percent less chance of being depressed while women who drank more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day had a 20 percent less risk of depression compared to women who only drank one cup of coffee.

It is important to note that the authors remarked that the study was observational in nature and did not show that caffeine or coffee definitively reduces the risk of depression, but instead shows that there is only a possibility of such an effect.

The ten-year longitudinal study was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

However, drinking so much coffee might be a problem if you have an overactive bladder (OAB). OAB is also known as urge incontinence and it’s when a person doesn’t have the ability to hold their urine due to abnormal problems with the urinary tract, kidneys or nervous system. Overactive bladder may be irritated by caffeine which can increase urination and other symptoms.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
September 27, 2011
Last Updated:
October 4, 2011