October 10, 2016
2 min read

Coffee delays liver disease progression, extends survival post-LT

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Drinking at least 200 mL coffee a day may stave off the advancement of alcoholic liver disease and some cases of primary sclerosing cholangitis in patients with end-stage liver disease awaiting liver transplant, according to recent published findings. In addition, coffee consumption may increase survival post-transplant.

“The limitation of donated organs highlights the importance of identifying modifiable factors that can aid in the management of patients awaiting liver transplantation and help to optimize outcome after liver transplantation,” Kilian Friedrich, MD, of the department of internal medicine, University Hospital of Heidelberg in Germany, and colleagues wrote. “As coffee is inexpensive, widely available, and protective for certain liver diseases, its consumption may be potentially beneficial for patients with ESLD or after liver transplantation.”

Friedrich and colleagues prospectively studied coffee intake, disease advancement and survival free of LT among patients with ESLD on a LT waiting list (n = 379) as well as the patients’ actual survival post-LT (n = 260). Those who drank 200 mL — considered one cup — of caffeinated coffee were considered coffee drinkers; those who did not drink coffee or drank decaffeinated coffee were not. Long-term survival calculations began 3 months after LT.

Researchers found actual survival was limited (P = .041) in non-coffee drinkers (40.4 ± 4.3 months; 95% CI, 32-48.9) compared with coffee drinkers (54.9 ± 5.5 months; 95% CI, 44-65.7). In the subgroups, survival of patients with alcoholic liver disease (ALD; P = .02) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC; P = .017) increased with coffee consumption but remained unaffected in patients with chronic viral hepatitis (P = .517) or other liver disease entities (P = .652).

When studying other variables, researchers found coffee consumption of patients with PSC and ALD remained an independent risk factor (OR = 1.94; 1.15-3.28 P = .013) along with MELD score (OR = 1.13; 95% CI, 1.09-1.17). Following liver transplantation, coffee drinkers lived longer (61.8 ± 2 months; 95% CI, 57.9-65.8) compared with non-drinkers (52.3 ± 3.5 months; 95% CI, 45.4-59.3).

“We found that coffee consumption indeed protects patients with manifest ESLD from further disease progression. Overall, coffee intake significantly increased the survival of patients with ESLD,” Friedrich and colleagues wrote of their study, which they called the first of its kind. “However, subgroup analysis showed that coffee consumption was only protective for patients with ALD and PSC while not protecting patients with viral hepatitis or other hepatic entities.” – by Janel Miller

Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.