Washington : Drinking coffee might help depressed women in chasing away their blues, a new study has found.
Caffeine is the most popular stimulant in the world and about 80 percent of it is consumed as coffee.
Previous research has suggested an association between coffee consumption and depression risk, the Journal of Archives of Internal Medicine reports.
Because depression is a chronic and recurrent condition that affects twice as many women as men, “identification of risk factors for depression among women and the development of new preventive strategies are, therefore, a public health priority,” write the study authors.
They sought to examine whether, in women, consumption of caffeine or certain caffeinated beverages is associated with depression.
Michel Lucas, from the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues, studied 50,739 women.
Participants, with an average age of 63 years, had no depression at the start of the study in 1996 and were prospectively followed up through June 2006, according to a Harvard statement.
Researchers measured caffeine consumption through questionnaires completed from May 1980 through April 2004.
When compared with women who consumed one cup of caffeinated coffee or less per week, those who consumed two to three cups daily had a 15 percent decrease in relative risk for depression, and those consuming four cups or more per day had a 20 percent decrease in relative risk.