Epidemiologic Evidence of a Relationship between Tea, Coffee, or Caffeine Consumption and Cognitive Decline
Author: Lenore Arab, Faraz Khan, and Helen Lam
A systematic literature review of human studies relating caffeine or caffeine-rich beverages to cognitive decline reveals only 6 studies that have collected and analyzed cognition data in a prospective fashion that enables study of decline across the spectrum of cognition. These 6 studies, in general, evaluate cognitive function using the Mini Mental State Exam and base their beverage data on FFQs. Studies included in our review differed in their source populations, duration of study, and most dramatically in how their analyses were done, disallowing direct quantitative comparisons of their effect estimates. Only one of the studies reported on all 3 exposures, coffee, tea, and caffeine, making comparisons of findings across studies more difficult. However, in general, it can be stated that for all studies of tea and most studies of coffee and caffeine, the estimates of cognitive decline were lower among consumers, although there is a lack of a distinct dose response. Only a few measures showed a quantitative significance and, interestingly, studies indicate a stronger effect among women than men.