Coffee, alcohol, smoking and cognitive decline

Coffee may promote cognitive function in contrast to alcohol and smoking

In elderly men of the FINE study, moderate coffee drinking was associated with less cognitive decline, while alcohol consumption and tobacco-smoking were not related to cognition.

Coffee associated with less cognitive decline

The least cognitive decline was observed for elderly men who consumed 3 cups of coffee/day. It was 4 times less than the decline among non-consumers. The association between coffee consumption and cognitive decline over a 10-year period was investigated in the FINE study. In Finland, 90% of the elderly men drank coffee, while 95% did so in The Netherlands and 50% in Italy.

Alcohol and smoking not related to cognitive decline

Alcohol consumption was not related to cognitive decline in men without CVD or diabetes at entry. About 80% of the elderly men in Zutphen used alcohol while only 5% drank as many as 3 drinks per day. There was also no association between cigarette smoking and cognitive decline in men without CVD or diabetes at entry. In Zutphen, only 23% of men aged 70-89 smoked cigarettes.

About the Zutphen Elderly Study

The Zutphen Elderly Study is an extension of the original Zutphen Study with a sample of the same age where detailed information on the diet of all the participants was collected four times between 1985 and 2000.  Read more about the Zutphen (Elderly) Study.

More about mental health, cognitive decline & depression

Disability and depressive symptoms

In elderly men from Finland, Italy and the Nethelands in the FINE Study, self-reported information on disability and depressive symptoms was collected in 1990 and 1995.

Lifestyle, diet and optimism

A healthy diet, especially eating more fruit, vegetables, and whole grain bread was related to a higher level of optimism.