Objective: Coffee drinking is the main source of caffeine intake among adult population in the western world. It has been reported that low to moderate caffeine intake has beneficial effect on alertness and cognitive functions in healthy subjects. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of habitual coffee consumption on cognitive function in hemodialysis patients.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 86 patients from a single-dialysis centre underwent assessment by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment tool and evaluation for symptoms of fatigue, mood, and sleep disorders by well-validated questionnaires. The habitual coffee use and the average daily caffeine intake were estimated by participants’ response to a dietary questionnaire.
Results: Sixty-seven subjects (78%) consumed black coffee daily, mostly in low to moderate dose. Cognitive impairment was found in three-quarters of tested patients. Normal mental performance was more often in habitual coffee users (25% versus 16%). Regular coffee drinkers achieved higher mean scores on all tested cognitive domains, but a significant positive correlation was found only for items that measure attention and concentration (P = 0.024).
Conclusions: Moderate caffeine intake by habitual coffee consumption could have beneficial impact on cognitive function in hemodialysis patients due to selective enhancement of attention and vigilance.