Staff Writer JaxGay.com
A wealth of studies have hailed coffee for its potential health benefits, but for patients infected with both HIV and hepatitis C virus, the rewards could be even greater; a new study suggests that drinking at least three cups of coffee per day could halve their risk of all-cause mortality.
The researchers also found that quitting smoking further boosted survival for these patients, even after the clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Lead investigator Dominique Salmon-Céron, Ph.D. - of the Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, Hôpital Cochin, and Université Paris Descartes in France - and colleagues recently reported their findings in the Journal of Hepatology.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 25 percent of people in the United States living with HIV are also infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is a bloodborne virus capable of causing chronic liver disease. Thankfully, there are antiviral treatments that can eradicate HCV.
"However," says Dr. Salmon-Céron, "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 new study from Dr. Salmon-Céron and team suggests that coffee - a beverage enjoyed by more than half of adults in the U.S. every day - may help to reduce this risk of death.
Coffee contains compounds, such as polyphenols, that can help to reduce inflammation, and studies have shown that the beverage can help to protect liver health.
What is more, previous research has linked coffee consumption with reduced mortality. But Dr. Salmon-Céron and colleagues note that researchers have not investigated how coffee intake affects the mortality risk of people co-infected with HIV and HCV - until now.