WOMEN with diabetes who enjoy a cup of coffee can expect to live a longer life, research suggests.

A new study found that regular caffeine consumption was linked to women living longer compared to those who drank no caffeine at all.

The research has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal but was presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting in Lisbon.

It found no such association between caffeine and men with diabetes.

Experts from the University of Porto and colleagues across Portugal looked at caffeine and death rates in more than 3,000 men and women with diabetes.

The people in the study reported their caffeine intake from coffee, tea, and soft drinks over 24 hours at the point they enrolled in the research.

During an 11-year follow-up, 618 people died.

Researchers found that women who consumed up to 100mg of caffeine per day – around one regular cup of instant coffee – were 51 per cent less likely to die from any cause, increasing to 57 per cent for those who drank 100mg to 200mg per day.

Higher amounts, of over 200mg per day, led to a 66 per cent reduced risk of death.

Analysis showed that coffee-drinking was linked to a lower risk of death from any cause, particularly cardiovascular disease, while women who consumed more caffeine from tea appeared to be less likely to die from cancer.

The authors said: “Our observational study cannot prove that caffeine reduces the risk of death but only suggests the possibility of such a protective effect.”