European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 1415–1427 | Cite as

Coffee consumption and risk of physical function impairment, frailty and disability in older adults

  • Marcos D. Machado-FraguaEmail author
  • Ellen A. Struijk
  • Auxiliadora Graciani
  • Pilar Guallar-Castillon
  • Fernando Rodríguez-Artalejo
  • Esther Lopez-GarciaEmail author
Original Contribution



Habitual coffee consumption has been associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Since these diseases are main determinants of functional limitations, we have tested the hypothesis that coffee intake is associated with lower risk of physical function impairment, frailty and disability in older adults. We focused on women and those with obesity, hypertension or type 2 diabetes because they are at higher risk of functional limitations.


Prospective study with 3289 individuals ≥ 60 years from the Seniors-ENRICA cohort. In 2008–2010 coffee consumption was measured through a validated dietary history. Participants were followed up until 2015 to ascertain incident impaired physical function, frailty and disability, assessed by both self-report and objective measures.


Compared with non-drinking coffee, consumption of ≥ 2 cups of coffee/day was associated with lower risk of impaired agility in women (hazard ratio [HR] 0.71, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.51–0.97, P trend 0.04) and in those with obesity (HR 0.60; 95% CI 0.40–0.90, P trend 0.04). Intake of ≥ 2 cups of coffee/day was also linked to reduced risk of impaired mobility in women (HR 0.66; 95% CI 0.46–0.95, P trend 0.02) and among individuals with hypertension (HR 0.70, 95% CI 0.48–1.00, P trend 0.05). Moreover, among subjects with diabetes, those who consumed ≥ 2 cups/day had lower risk of disability in activities of daily living (HR 0.30, 95% CI 0.11–0.76, P trend 0.01).


In older people, habitual coffee consumption was not associated with increased risk of functional impairment, and it might even be beneficial in women and those with hypertension, obesity or diabetes.


Coffee Mobility Agility Frailty Disability 



Instrumental activities of daily living


Basic activities of daily living


Mediterranean diet adherence screener


12-Item short-form health survey


Short Physical Performance Battery


Body mass index


Mini-mental state examination


Hazard ratio


Confidence interval



This work was supported by FIS grants 13/0288, 16/609 and 16/1512 (Instituto de Salud Carlos III, State Secretary of R + D + I, and FEDER/FSE), the FRAILOMIC Initiative (FP7-HEALTH-2012-Proposal No. 305483-2), the ATHLOS project (EU H2020-Project ID: 635316) and the JPI HDHL (SALAMANDER project).

Author contributions

MMF and ELG designed and conducted research; MMF and EAS analyzed data; MMF and ELG wrote the paper; MMF and ELG had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. All authors reviewed the manuscript for important intellectual content and approved the final version.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

Study participants gave their informed written consent. The Clinical Research Ethics Committee of ‘La Paz’ University Hospital in Madrid approved the study protocol.

Supplementary material

394_2018_1664_MOESM1_ESM.docx (45 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 45 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of MedicineUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.IdiPaz (Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Hospital Universitario La Paz)MadridSpain
  3. 3.CIBERESP (CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health)MadridSpain
  4. 4.IMDEA-Food Institute, CEI UAM+CSICMadridSpain

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