A moderate coffee habit could cut the risk of an early death by up to 31 per cent, a study of Britons has found.

Research using data on more than 171,000 people found those enjoying a couple of cups of coffee per day lived longer than non-drinkers.

The apparent health benefits were present whether or not the drinks were sweetened with sugar.

A team from Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, set out to confirm earlier studies that have linked coffee consumption to better health.

They found that a “moderate” coffee habit, defined as drinking one and a half to three and a half cups of coffee per day, was linked to a lower risk of dying prematurely. They also discovered that there was