Increased consumption of coffee was associated with reduced risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer.1 A significant dose response was observed, noted lead author V. Wendy Setiawan, PhD, of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, California.
People who drank between 1 to 3 cups of coffee per day had a 29% reduced risk of HCC, while those who drank 4 or more cups per day had a 42% lower risk. The researchers did not look at the effect of consumption of decaffeinated coffee.
“Previous studies showed that coffee lowers the risk of HCC, but these studies were conducted outside of the US. We wanted to examine whether coffee consumption was associated with risk of HCC in multiethnic US populations,” she said.
The study was based on a prospective analysis of approximately 180,000 men and women, including 52,548 Japanese Americans, 45,641 Caucasians, 39,097 Latinos, 29,486 African Americans, and 13,118 Native Hawaiians. Data were collected on coffee consumption and other lifestyle factors, and people were followed for up to 18 years. HCC developed in 498 participants: 171 Japanese Americans, 67 Caucasians, 153 Latinos, 73 African Americans, and 34 Native Hawaiians.
The relationship between coffee consumption and lower risk of HCC was independent of ethnicity, gender, body mass index, smoking status, alcohol intake, and diabetes status. Also, in a subset analysis of participants with available hepatitis B and hepatitis C serologic status, the association between coffee consumption and HCC was independent of hepatitis infections.
Setiawan and colleagues plan to study the association between coffee consumption and incidence and mortality with chronic liver diseases across multiethnic groups.
A related study showed that increased coffee intake was also associated with reduced risk of melanoma.2 Participants who consumed 4 or more cups of coffee per day had a 20% reduction in the risk of melanoma compared with non-coffee drinkers. No association was observed for decaffeinated coffee.
The study analyzed data from the large, prospective NIH-AARP Study. Coffee intake was assessed at baseline with a food intake questionnaire.
Among 447,357 non-Hispanic whites who were cancer-free at baseline, 2904 developed melanoma during 4,329,044 person-years of follow-up. Respondents were followed from baseline until the date of first skin cancer diagnosis, the date of death, the end of study follow-up, or moving out of a catchment area (whichever occurred first).
The analysis was adjusted for multiple potential confounders for melanoma risk in relationship to level of coffee intake. Lead author Erikka Loftfield, MPH, of the National Cancer Institute, said that additional study of caffeine and other coffee constituents is warranted in the prevention of melanoma.
1. Setiawan VW, Wilkens LR, Hernandez BY, et al. Coffee intake reduces hepatocellular carcinoma risk: the Multiethnic Cohort. Presented at: 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; April 5-9, 2014; San Diego, CA. Abstract LB-281.
2. Loftfield E, Mayne S, Shebl F, et al. Prospective study of coffee drinking and risk of melanoma in the United States. Presented at: 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; April 5-9, 2014; San Diego, CA. Abstract LB-280.