Association of Coffee Consumption with MRI Markers and Cognitive Function: A Population-Based Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages worldwide and has been of considerable interest in research on cognition and dementia. Objective: To investigate the effect of coffee on preclinical brain MRI markers of dementia and cognitive performance. Methods: In 2,914 participants from the population-based Rotterdam Study (mean age: 59.3 +/- 7.2 years, 55% females), we assessed coffee consumption, performed brain MRI, and assessed cognition at baseline. To study cognitive change, cognitive assessment was repeated after 5 years of follow-up. Coffee consumption was analyzed continuously (per cup increase) and in categories (0-1, > 1-3, > 3 cups/day). Using logistic and linear regression, associations of coffee consumption with lacunar infarcts and brain tissue volumes on MRI, and cognitive performance (cross-sectional and longitudinal) were investigated, adjusting for relevant confounders. Results: We found that higher coffee consumption was associated with a lower prevalence of lacunar infarcts [odds ratio per cup increase: 0.88 (95% CI: 0.79; 0.98)], and smaller hippocampal volume [difference: -0.01 (95% CI:-0.02; 0.00)]. Also, we found that the highest category of coffee consumption was associated with better performance on the Letter Digit Substitution Task [difference: 1.13(95% CI: 0.39; 1.88)], Word Fluency test [0.74(95% CI: 0.04,1.45)], Stroop interference task [1.82(95% CI: 0.23; 3.41)], and worse performance on the 15-Word Learning test delayed recall [-0.38(95% CI:-0.74;-0.02)]. These associations were not found when cognition was analyzed longitudinally. Conclusion: We found complex associations between coffee consumption, brain structure, and cognition. Higher coffee consumption was cross-sectionally associated with a lower occurrence of lacunar infarcts and better executive function, but also with smaller hippocampal volume and worse memory function.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)451-461
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimers Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Cite this