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NIH Study Finds That Coffee Drinkers Have Lower Risk of Death

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the but-only-in-a-given-time-period dept.

Medicine 234

parallel_prankster writes "Older adults who drank coffee — caffeinated or decaffeinated — had a lower risk of death [full paper is paywalled, at the New England Journal of Medicine] overall than others who did not drink coffee, according to a study by researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and AARP. Coffee drinkers were less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections, although the association was not seen for cancer. These results from a large study of older adults were observed after adjustment for the effects of other risk factors on mortality, such as smoking and alcohol consumption. They also found that the association between coffee and reduction in risk of death increased with the amount of coffee consumed. Relative to men and women who did not drink coffee, those who consumed three or more cups of coffee per day had approximately a 10 percent lower risk of death. Researchers caution, however, that they can't be sure whether these associations mean that drinking coffee actually makes people live longer."

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234 comments

I kinda thought risk of death... (5, Informative)

sokoban (142301) | about 2 years ago | (#40029521)

... was roughly one in one. Guess I was wrong.

Risk of death (5, Funny)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#40029559)

The risk of death must be lower than the risk of taxes, though, because I pay taxes every year and I haven't died even once.

Re:Risk of death (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029661)

The risk of death must be lower than the risk of taxes, though, because I pay taxes every year and I haven't died even once.

Well, you can cross "Treasury Secretary" off the list of jobs you're qualified to do.

Re:Risk of death (Not) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029731)

An NIH article should be more accurate. We all have the same risk of death, 100%. It's the when that coffee affects.

Re:Risk of death (Not) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40030571)

An NIH article should be more accurate. We all have the same risk of death, 100%. It's the when that coffee affects.

I'm pretty sure the NIH article specified this. I would be it's the summary where this goes wrong.

Re:Risk of death (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029819)

but i like having my dick sucked

Re:Risk of death (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40030055)

and the risk of death around me increases if I don't get my coffee.

Re:Risk of death (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40030301)

Not even a petit mort?

Re:I kinda thought risk of death... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029563)

... was roughly one in one. Guess I was wrong.

Speak for yourself- so far, I'm immortal.

Re:I kinda thought risk of death... (2)

magarity (164372) | about 2 years ago | (#40030075)

Speak for yourself- so far, I'm immortal.

Immortality might be fun right now but I bet the black hole era and following heat death of the universe are going to be seriously boring.

I kinda thought most pedants... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029899)

...understood that probabilities always have a unit basis (in this case, time). Guess I was wrong.

Re:I kinda thought risk of death... (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 2 years ago | (#40029991)

Oh, Jesus H. Christ. This comment comes up on every story dealing with mortality risk, and it's getting kind of old. Look, the hazard rate function [wikipedia.org] is not that hard to understand. Educate yourself instead of making the same worn-out joke over and over again, okay?

Re:I kinda thought risk of death... (3, Informative)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#40030107)

Alright Sheldon Cooper, we all get it. And you move your bowls at 8:20.

Re:I kinda thought risk of death... (3, Funny)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 2 years ago | (#40030427)

Okay, I'm going to make a computer and car analogy.

Suppose that on every single story that mentioned RAM in any context, there were guaranteed to be a hundred comments along the lines of "Isn't the Ram a pickup truck?" Some of these comments would be meant as in-jokes, but most would be absolutely serious. The people making the comments (a self-selected group of intelligent, technically minded people who are, supposedly, interested in the world around them) would absolutely refuse to understand, no matter how many times it was explained to them, that the word "ram" has multiple specific meanings, and that only one of those meanings is relevant to the conversation at hand.

Wouldn't you get just a little tired of this?

Re:I kinda thought risk of death... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40030139)

You must be the life of the party wherever you go.
You make that old guy with the lawn look like Mary Poppins.

Re:I kinda thought risk of death... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40030387)

virgin alert

Re:I kinda thought risk of death... (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#40030185)

"... less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections, although the association was not seen for cancer."

Fuck that. I'd rather have a heart attack than cancer.

Re:I kinda thought risk of death... (1)

Aryden (1872756) | about 2 years ago | (#40030363)

They also produced a study last year that indicated that males who drink 2-3 cups of coffee daily had a lower chance of fatal colon cancer than non-coffee drinkers. I guess that it has something to do with the fact that we coffee drinkers tend to shit on a regular basis....

Re:I kinda thought risk of death... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40030651)

"... less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections, although the association was not seen for cancer."

Note how they forgot to mention death from swamp monsters. Swamp monsters who are attracted to the lingering smell of coffee on a person. They're tricky bastards. Good sense of smell, too.

100% (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029533)

Odd, I thought the risk of death was 100%, with or without coffee,

Re:100% (4, Funny)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 2 years ago | (#40030083)

There was an immortal coffee drinker in the study. There may have been an immortal non-coffee drinker in the study but the coffee drinker chopped his head off.

Study Finds Seman Drinkers, Like Timothy... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029537)

...have lower deith risks.

"Our subject, Timothy, drinks about 9 gallons/day. And he (or she) seems to have excellent health!"

Already debunked. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029545)

Lousy study with terrible controls, indicates that coffee drinkers also smoke more, eat more red meat, get less exercise, etc. But still have a lower chance of death? I call bullshit.

Re:Already debunked. (3, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#40029587)

So what you're saying is that any study whose result disagrees with your preconceptions must be garbage.

Re:Already debunked. (2)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#40029725)

Pretty Much

"The investigators caution that coffee intake was assessed by self-report at a single time point and therefore might not reflect long-term patterns of intake. Also, information was not available on how the coffee was prepared (espresso, boiled, filtered, etc.); the researchers consider it possible that preparation methods may affect the levels of any protective components in coffee. "

It's an Epidemiology study, which looks at patterns. Which can be helpful in locating real effects but findings are quite meaningless.

You could just as easily say it was because each coffee drinker had a pet rock or a sunny disposition. Need hard concrete proof that coffee is providing real health benefits. Interestingly enough, if you include smokers and drinkers - then you don't see a benefit. Which tells me there isn't a real benefit here. Because if there was you should see an improvement among drinkers and smokers.

Re:Already debunked. (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#40030085)

Was it corrected for reply bias? There could be a correlation between being a healthy coffee drinker and likelihood of submitting a self-report.

Or could it be that rich people, who are healthier for other reasons, also can afford to drink coffee more than someone who's dirt poor or spends his money on booze? An average of three cuppas a day at average price would mean $4 per day, or $120 per month, which not everyone can afford.

Or that coffee consumption is higher in geographical areas where people are healthier for other reasons, including heridity, temperature and eating habits? Minnesotans live on average six years longer than people in Mississippi, and with a relatively large Scandinavian heritage also likely consumes far more coffee.

At least the people who did the study didn't attempt to say there's a causation.

Re:Already debunked. (1)

aesiamun (862627) | about 2 years ago | (#40030273)

It costs me less than a dollar to make a pot which is roughly 4 large cups of coffee...what is this $4 for 3 cups you speak of?

Re:Already debunked. (2)

Aryden (1872756) | about 2 years ago | (#40030521)

pretty sure he is referring to Starbucks or Caribu or some other such nonsense. I don't buy the cheap stuff, but I get roughly 64 cups for about $10.

Re:Already debunked. (5, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#40029813)

Even though a larger proportion of coffee drinkers may engage in those activities (I'm not saying they do, but let's grant it, for the sake of argument), if you control for the different variables, you can still draw correlations out of the data. For instance, a coffee drinker who also smokes may, on average, live longer than someone who smokes but doesn't drink coffee as well. Likewise for red meat, less exercise, etc.. They're not suggesting that coffee drinking cancels out the effects of all those other things. They're merely suggesting it may provide some benefits over similar people not drinking coffee.

You've alleged that their controls are terrible. Please elaborate on how, exactly, since they explicitly mentioned controlling for smoking in the article, which was one of your points.

WTF?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029575)

But Grandma drank coffee and she died. These studies is all lies.

Headline (4, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#40029577)

NIH Study Finds That Coffee Drinkers Have Lower Risk of Death.

In other news, death is avoidable.

Re:Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029679)

Didn't you prove your own immortality by induction yet?

Princess Bride (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029607)

Did Miracle Max just make a coffee pill?

Extrapolating ... (1, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#40029617)

... that studies data, it looks as if I'm never going to die.

Re:Extrapolating ... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 2 years ago | (#40030333)

... that studies data, it looks as if I'm never going to die.

No no, you have a lower chance of dying.

Drink coffee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029625)

What about people that drank water? or stood on one leg?

Re:Drink coffee? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#40030177)

Water is ok, same for that leg thing.

The problem is that it has been proven that people who breathe oxygen in any concentration are guaranteed to die.

Re:Drink coffee? (3, Informative)

Aryden (1872756) | about 2 years ago | (#40030605)

There was an interesting article a year or so ago that showed a correlation between coffee drinking and bowl movements vs water drinking. I will try to find it for citation, but the gist of it was: Due to the diuretic properties of coffee, the coffee drinkers had more regular bowl movements than those who drank water which meant that toxins spent less time in the intestines thus creating a lower likelihood of some intestinal diseases.

My prof dranks coffee like water (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40029629)

He stayed up late working on his experiments, then got up early to teach the 8 o'clock class.
He was very jittery.
I can't see how this is "good" for you and reduces risk of death.

Re:My prof dranks coffee like water (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40029807)

I can't see how this is "good" for you and reduces risk of death.

And yet, the data says it is. This is why we do science, because not everything is obvious, and sometimes tests come back with unexpected results. That's how we learn things.

Re:My prof dranks coffee like water (0, Troll)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#40029983)

You take your goddamned liberal learnin' shit and get outta here! NASCAR is on goddamnit!

Re:My prof dranks coffee like water (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40030213)

Except science is based upon MULTIPLE studies that can be replicated (with same results), not just one. I am questioning the validity of this ONE study and doubt other studies will sustain it.

Re:My prof dranks coffee like water (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40030461)

I am questioning the validity of this ONE study and doubt other studies will sustain it because my ONE study of ONE person who drank coffee like water.

FTFY. I have no problem questioning unconfirmed studies, as long as you recognize the reason you are questioning it has nothing to do with science.

Re:My prof dranks coffee like water (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029943)

I knew a guy once who drank alcohol like water. He was always stumbling around, falling down, puking...

And yet there are several studies that say alcohol can be good for you. I wonder why that is.. it can't possibly be because those studies focused on a much lower quantity than what "that guy I knew" would drink. I mean, that would just make too much sense! Clearly everyone who drinks alcohol must consume it in as large of quantities as "that guy I knew", just as everyone who drinks coffee clearly consumes as much as "that prof you knew", right?

Re:My prof dranks coffee like water (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 years ago | (#40030245)

Flushing out your system with water does remove toxins in the blood. Caffeine is diuretic, so your kidneys are working harder. Though you have to be careful not to flush out too many electrolytes. I'm willing to bet that if tea was as diuretic, it would be just as healthy too if not more so.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast.... (5, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 2 years ago | (#40029631)

A statement is released saying that coffee is known in the State of California to cause cancer

Re:Meanwhile, on the West Coast.... (1)

bughunter (10093) | about 2 years ago | (#40029909)

Maybe it's not the coffee, but the California water used to brew the coffee?

I think by now we should deduce (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029941)

I think by now it should be obvious .. California causes cancer.

Re:Meanwhile, on the West Coast.... (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about 2 years ago | (#40029999)

I'm confused...In the State of California, coffee is know to cause cancer or when in the State of California, coffee causes cancer. That is some pretty selective cancer and one state I think I'll avoid in the future....Whew!

Re:Meanwhile, on the West Coast.... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#40030513)

I work at a lab in California. Another lab moved in down the hall. They brought their coffee maker with them, and it appeared in the break room. With a certification from Princeton that it was Carcinogen free.

A week later, it was no longer there, and they put up a note saying "Whoever stole our coffee maker, please give it back."

My guess is that it was a lawyer for the university, on nightly patrol for something that wasn't properly labeled as being likely to give you cancer. He saw the sign, muttered "Oh no no no, this will never do! HUGE LIABILITY!", took Mr. Cancer-free coffee maker out to a field, and put a bullet in it's carafe.

Statistics, statistics... (5, Interesting)

bobgap (613856) | about 2 years ago | (#40029647)

This is probably because people with bad hearts, etc., do not drink coffee, hence only people who are healthier drink coffee when they are old. Isn't it amazing that they would have a reduced death rate. Imagine what the relative death rate would be for old people who skydive, compared to those who don't?

Re:Statistics, statistics... (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | about 2 years ago | (#40029921)

I'd like to see the life expectancy of those who receive chemotherapy compared to those who don't. Until then, I'm going to stay away from it, just to be safe.

Re:Statistics, statistics... (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 2 years ago | (#40030123)

And I'm sure the researchers who conducted the study, the agencies that paid for the study, and the editors and peer reviewers who read the paper before publication never ever once thought of controlling for risk factors. You'd better contact the NEJM and NCI immediately and tell them what idiots they are to have missed something so obvious. I'm sure they'll be blown away by your critique.

Re:Statistics, statistics... (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#40030317)

Sounds kind of sensible, except...

These results from a large study of older adults were observed after adjustment for the effects of other risk factors on mortality, such as smoking and alcohol consumption.

So your explanation would be that people growing old and sick tend to give up coffee, but keep smoking and drinking alcohol? I guess it's possible, but I it's not obvious to me why that would be.

is it just me or (-1, Troll)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 years ago | (#40029651)

does the article make it sound like the AARP is approaching death as a 'preventable disease' that can easily be combatted by doing something most old people already do. Im not sure what the AARP hopes to achieve other than to perhaps convince a segment of gullible elderly that a lobbying group has found a cure for death.

it should be noted that coffee also shares about 11 of the same chemicals as rat poison...which wither serves as a word of caution or an explaination as to why the rats in jersey seem to get bigger every year.

Re:is it just me or (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029907)

it should be noted that coffee also shares about 11 of the same chemicals as rat poison

Sweet Zombie Jesus! Next you'll be telling me that it contains dihydrogen monoxide!

Re:is it just me or (1)

FSWKU (551325) | about 2 years ago | (#40030153)

it should be noted that coffee also shares about 11 of the same chemicals as rat poison...[citation needed]

I guess the shared chemicals aren't what makes rat poison harmful then, given the amount of people who drink coffee like their lives depend on it. Also, FTFY.

1992 Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029685)

Hardly breaking news.

Programmers will live forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029763)

I think the conclusion of the study is: a normal programmer will live forever! :-)

Re:Programmers will live forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40030249)

your hypothesis is sound. Now all we need do is find us a normal programmer...This just might take a while.

starbucks (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | about 2 years ago | (#40029787)

they should outfit Starbucks with those neck injector stations like in the Chronicles of riddick games. save time.

Control for sugar (5, Interesting)

XanC (644172) | about 2 years ago | (#40029857)

My guess is that people who don't drink coffee more likely DO drink sugary sodas.

Re:Control for sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029959)

My guess is that people who don't drink coffee more likely DO drink sugary sodas.

Coffee drinks are not less likely to drink sodas. They're likely to drink coffee AND sodas.

If you want to calibrate for people who don't drink sodas, you need to do a study with people who drink water with meals. They're less likely to drink both sodas and coffees. (For the record, I'm a coffee and soda drinker. I keep forcing myself to drink a glass of water once a week or something, but it often doesn't happen. And no, I don't think this study proves I'm going to live longer, I know I need to drink less coffee and sodas and more water.)

Re:Control for sugar (2)

I_am_Jack (1116205) | about 2 years ago | (#40030283)

I say move the study to Utah and use Mormons as a control group.

Re:Control for sugar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40030543)

I say move the study to Utah and use Mormons as a control group.

Mormons drink sodas, they don't drink caffeine. That means sodas without caffeines are a-ok.

I work with a guy who is a mormon and he drinks about 3x as much soda as I do. I feel like I'm killing my kidneys with what I drink, so, believe me, it's impressive.

Typical Buzzkill Bias (1)

bughunter (10093) | about 2 years ago | (#40029889)

Researchers caution, however, that they can't be sure whether these associations mean that drinking coffee actually makes people live longer.

You can be certain, however, if the correlation had been between coffee drinking and decreased life expectancy, then there would have been no such disclaimer discouraging the inference of any causation.

Quite right (2)

Lord Grey (463613) | about 2 years ago | (#40029911)

Of course those of us who drink massive quantities of coffee won't die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, or infections. We'll die by lunging at the coffee machine early one morning, slipping on the wet floor, then failing to catch our jittery selves because we're busy protecting the ceramic mug our child gave us fifteen years ago.

I nominate this for sloppiest slashdot story ever (0)

onyxruby (118189) | about 2 years ago | (#40029929)

I've been on slashdot for over a while now and this has got to be the blatantly sloppiest headline I have ever seen. If there has ever been a headline that has made the case for the need for a professional editor this has got to be it.

Everyone has a 100% of death, coffee drinker or not. For (insert diety's sake) would slashdot please hire at least one professional editor? How about an intern? I understand unemployment among college students is too high right now and interns are cheap!

I'm sure many of a college student would jump at a change to edit for a site like slashdot for an intern's salary. Seriously, an intern could do a better job, I've got them at my work place and they a little motivation goes a long way....

I nominate this for sloppiest criticism ever (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about 2 years ago | (#40030385)

I've been on slashdot for over a while now and this has got to be the blatantly sloppiest headline I have ever seen. If there has ever been a headline that has made the case for the need for a professional editor this has got to be it.

Everyone has a 100% of death, coffee drinker or not. For (insert diety's sake) would slashdot please hire at least one professional editor? How about an intern? I understand unemployment among college students is too high right now and interns are cheap!

I'm sure many of a college student would jump at a change to edit for a site like slashdot for an intern's salary. Seriously, an intern could do a better job, I've got them at my work place and they a little motivation goes a long way....

While there are terms more clear than "risk of death", I see two major problems with your criticism:
1. Many people have already made the exact same comment, but more clearly and succinctly.
2. The evidence suggests that Slashdot editors, while perhaps having some faults, should not take criticism from you on grammar and language clarity seriously.

Slow news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40029977)

I read this headline on the front page of the newspaper this morning. It's a little sad that slashdot was scooped by print.

Really??? (2)

Larry_Dillon (20347) | about 2 years ago | (#40030051)

This sounds like it could be correlated to other lifestyle choices. e.g., People who have a routine or work in an office and drink coffee are safer than other occupations.

It's really hard to control for all of the other possible factors.

Re:Really??? (1)

buglista (1967502) | about 2 years ago | (#40030439)

Didja not even read the fine summary? I can see your accident thing, kind of. But it's a half dozen risk factors, only cancer doesn't change.

You would expect diabetes to be higher in sedentary occupations, because Bob knows that a lot of office workers are fat bastards.

"Coffee drinkers were less likely to die from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections, although the association was not seen for cancer. "

Sleeper (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | about 2 years ago | (#40030081)

his morning for breakfast he requested something called "wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk." Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties. Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge? Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true. Dr. Melik: Incredible.

Did they weight it with known Asthma Risk? (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | about 2 years ago | (#40030091)

It's already well known that Coffee is good for treating Asthma in a pinch, and I'd say if it can save you from an Asthma Attack then it can surely reduce the risk of respiratory death from that asthma attack. If they remove it's affects on Asthmatics from the study will the benefit remain.

coffee reduces risk of dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40030109)

British Forces sent extra supplies of coffee................which, thinking about it, makes sense when you see mobsters in mafia films commenting on each others coyfeeee....

PR department gone wild (1)

pesho (843750) | about 2 years ago | (#40030111)

The NCI Office of Media Relations apparently were a little clueless on the facts they were reporting. The study actually finds that relatively elderly people (50 to 71) who said that they drink coffee (the question was asked once, actual coffee intake was never confirmed) were less like to die within a period of about 12 years. The study is garbage. Luckily the PR department's interpretation made it sound comical. Who says that PR departments are useless?

Maybe Coffee drinkers take less risk (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#40030323)

I can imagine that people who spend time drinking 3-4 cups of coffee a day, probably don't get outside much. If you're indoors most of the time, drinking coffee, than chances of you dieing from an accident, or getting shot is probably low. I mean, there could be many other factors involved that could explain why coffee drinkers live longer, not just because they drink coffee.

Including liquid candy bars? (3, Funny)

wcrowe (94389) | about 2 years ago | (#40030405)

I assume they mean people who actually drink real coffee, and not those that drink mocha-frappa-whatever liquid candy bars.

Fails to take into account (1)

Sir Realist (1391555) | about 2 years ago | (#40030539)

The study fails to take into account the number of suicides caused by not being able to drink coffee.

HAHAHA (3, Funny)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | about 2 years ago | (#40030573)

Oh man! It was so funny when those thirty people posted comments about immortality! We need that joke some more!

Re:HAHAHA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40030623)

No, what we need are better /. editors who are capable of making unambiguous summary titles.

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