Does Caffeine Help With Kidney Disease?

More than 30 million people in the United States, or about ten percent of the adult population, have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Could you be at risk for CKD? And if you struggle with CKD, is there anything you’re not doing that could improve your condition – or even help you live longer? Keep reading. You may be pleasantly surprised by what the researchers are finding.

In the U.S., more than 48,000 people died from kidney disease in 2014. It’s the nation’s ninth leading cause of death. CKD is a progressive medical condition. Over time, the kidneys slowly become unable to filter waste products and water from the bloodstream. CKD may progress to end-stage renal disease. When that happens, dialysis or a kidney transplant are the only options.

However, a new study has found a simple strategy that may help CKD patients live longer – drinking more coffee. Researchers assessed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a decade-long comprehensive national health study conducted from 1999 through 2010 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They identified 2,328 participants with chronic kidney disease.

HOW WAS THE NEW RESEARCH CONDUCTED?

Researchers concluded that CKD patients who drank the most coffee reduced their mortality risk by as much as 24 percent. And no, the study wasn’t paid for by Folgers or Starbucks. It was presented at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology in New Orleans.

CKD patients were divided into four groups – quartiles – based on daily caffeine consumption:

– Quartile one subjects consumed less than 29.5 milligrams of caffeine a day.
– Quartile two subjects consumed from 30.5 to 101 milligrams of caffeine a day.
– Quartile three subjects consumed from 101.5 to 206 milligrams of caffeine a day.
– Quartile four subjects consumed more than 206.5 milligrams and up to 1,378.5 milligrams of caffeine a day.

Other recent studies have indicated that caffeine may have life-prolonging benefits, but according to the study’s co-author, Dr. Bigotte Vieira, this research is the first to examine the impact of caffeine on chronic kidney disease and mortality. Dr. Vieira advises that the research is only observational and does not prove a direct cause-and-effect link between caffeine and a longer lifespan for CKD patients.

Measured against participants in the first quartile of caffeine consumption, those who drank the most coffee – those in the fourth quartile – reduced their risk of premature death by 24 percent. Those in the third quartile reduced that risk by 22 percent, while those in the second quartile reduced the risk of premature death by 12 percent.

WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH MEAN FOR CKD PATIENTS?

The statistics are a bit complicated – researchers had to account for the age, race, gender, smoking status, blood pressure, and body mass index of the participants – but the takeaway is that one or two extra cups of coffee a day can’t hurt and might even help chronic kidney disease patients.

According to Dr. Vieira, “These results suggest that advising patients with CKD to drink more caffeine may reduce their mortality. This would represent a simple, clinically beneficial, and inexpensive option, though this benefit should ideally be confirmed in a randomized clinical trial.”

In his response to the research findings, National Kidney Foundation spokesperson Dr. Leslie Spry said, “I hope this is the case, as I sit here and drink my morning coffee.” Dr. Spry added, “As you know, there are studies of coffee being harmful, beneficial and having no effect on health.”

On the basis of only one research study, Dr. Spry said it’s not clear that CKD patients are going to live longer simply by drinking more coffee. “I would rather say that compared to little or no caffeine intake, those people with the highest intake of caffeine as estimated by dietary recall, may have a lower mortality, but the reason for this lower mortality is not proven by this association research.”

WHAT OTHER STEPS CAN CKD PATIENTS TAKE?

If you have chronic kidney disease, you may want to discuss caffeine and coffee consumption with your doctor, but for most CKD patients, your doctor will probably leave your coffee choices up to you. However, there some simple and inexpensive measures that people dealing with CKD can take to maintain their health.

Those measures include:

Eating the right way: For CKD patients, it’s imperative. Almost all CKD patients need to reduce their sodium consumption, but the wise move is consulting a professional dietician.

Talking to your doctor about your medications: When the kidneys don’t function properly, drugs and their residue can remain in remain the body and harm your health.

Learning about medical malpractice: With over thirty million CKD sufferers in the U.S., CKD patients are frequent medical malpractice victims. If you believe that you may be a victim of medical malpractice, consult an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as swiftly as possible.

The failure to obtain an accurate early diagnosis of CKD and the right treatment can lead to kidney failure, a lifetime of drugs and dialysis, or the necessity of a kidney transplant. However, millions of people in the United States manage CKD and live their lives with only the most minor inconveniences. Patients who follow their doctor’s advice are usually able to remain relatively healthy.

HOW CAN A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEY HELP?

However, if an incident of medical malpractice happens while you are being treated for CKD, your condition could quickly decline. If you become a victim of medical malpractice, or if you aren’t sure, but you believe that you’ve experienced malpractice, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as quickly as possible. What constitutes medical malpractice?

Healthcare professionals are expected to provide their patients with a “reasonable” standard of care – for example, by ordering reasonable tests, by examining test results promptly and accurately, and by referring patients to specialists when it’s indicated. When healthcare professionals do not provide a reasonable standard of care, they are negligent.

When medical negligence injures a patient, that patient is entitled to compensation for his or her additional medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, and sometimes more. Nothing is more important than your health. If you suffer with CKD, and medical malpractice happens, take no chances – take your case at once to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who routinely represents CKD patients and advocates on their behalf.

By: Jed Kurzban

Medical malpractice attorney Jed Kurzban graduated from the University of Alabama in 1992 and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 1995. He is a member of the Dade County Bar Association, the Florida Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, and the American Bar Association. Mr. Kurzban is happily married and the father of two.