Brian Sullivan

Caffeine Consumption and Cognitive Function at Age 70: The Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 Study
Janie Corley , MA, Xueli Jia , PhD, Janet A. M. Kyle , PhD, Alan J. Gow , PhD, Caroline E. Brett , MSc, John M. Starr , MA, FRCPE, Geraldine McNeill , PhD, Ian J. Deary , PhD, FRCPE

A study published in the journal <i><a href="" target="_blank">Psychosomatic Medicine</a></i> has found that drinking ground coffee positiveley effectis cognitive skills.

positive association, however, was found between drinking ground coffee (filter and espresso) and performance on the Reading and IQ scores. 

THe study examined 923 adults from the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 Study who had been tested for IQ at age 11.
Cognitive function at age 70 years was assessed, using tests measuring general cognitive ability, speed of information processing, and memory.

It  is rare to have such a largesample of  childhood IQ scores for older people.

Current caffeine consumption, measured by multiple measures of tea, coffee, and total dietary caffeines obtained by self-report questionnaire. Demographic and health information was collected in a standardized interview.

The study found significant positive associations between total caffeine intake and general cognitive ability and ag- and sex-adjusted models.
After adjusting for their scores at age 11, social class, both individually and together, most of these variables were  nonsignificant.
A 'robust positive association' was found between drinking ground coffee and performance on the National Adult Reading Test (NART, p = .007), and the Wechsler Test of Adult Reading (WTAR, p = .02).
"Generally, higher cognitive scores were associated with coffee consumption, and lower cognitive scores with tea consumption, but these effects were not significant in the fully adjusted model" stated Psychosomatic Medicine.

The results suggest that the significant caffeine intake-cognitive ability associations are bidirectional—because childhood IQ and estimated prior IQ are associated with the type of caffeine intake in old age—and partly confounded by social class.

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