Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 121, Issue 2, pp 461–467 | Cite as

Coffee and tea intake and risk of breast cancer

  • Nirmala Bhoo Pathy
  • Petra Peeters
  • Carla van Gils
  • Joline W. J. Beulens
  • Yolanda van der Graaf
  • Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita
  • Awang Bulgiba
  • Cuno S. P. M. Uiterwaal


Known risk factors account for about 10–15% of breast cancer incidence suggesting that lifestyle exposures are crucial in its etiology. Previous epidemiological studies on the association between coffee and tea consumption and breast cancer risk have been inconsistent. We investigated the association of coffee and tea consumption with the risk of breast cancer among women in EPIC-NL cohort, a population-based prospective cohort in Netherlands with 27,323 participants. Exposure was measured by a validated food frequency questionnaire, and the outcome was verified by direct linkage with the Netherlands Cancer Registry. A total of 681 invasive primary breast cancers were diagnosed in 9.6 years of follow-up. Coffee intake increased the risk of breast cancer by more than twofold as compared to non-consumers (HR; 2.25, 95% CI; 1.30–3.90). This association did not hold after multivariate adjustment which resulted in a HR of 1.17, 95% CI; 0.65–2.12. After adjustment to breast cancer risk factors and lifestyle, no association was observed between intake of coffee or tea and risk of breast cancer across all categories of intake. These results were also not altered by body mass index (BMI). Coffee and tea consumption does not seem to be related to the risk of breast cancer in women.


Coffee Tea Breast cancer 


  1. 1.
    Parkin MD, Bray F, Ferlay J, Pisani P (2005) Global Cancer Statistics, 2002. CA Cancer J Clin 55:74–108CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (2007) Food, nutrition, physical activity, and the prevention of cancer: a global perspective. Washington DC: AICRGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    McLaughlin CC, Mahoney MC, Nasca PC et al (1992) Breast cancer and methylxanthine consumption. Cancer Causes Control 3(2):175–178CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ewertz M, Gill C (1990) Dietary factors and breast cancer risk in Denmark. Int J Cancer 46(5):779–784CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Tavani A, Pregnolato A, La Vecchia C et al (1998) Coffee consumption and the risk of breast cancer. Eur J Cancer Prev 7(1):77–82PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wu AH, Yu MC, Tseng CC et al (2003) Green tea and risk of breast cancer in Asian Americans. Int J Cancer 106:574–579CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mannisto S, Pietinen P, Virtanen V et al (1999) Diet and the risk of breast cancer in a case-control study: does the threat of disease have an influence on recall bias? J Clin Epidemiol 52:429–439CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kumar N, Titus-Ernstoff L, Newcomb PA et al. (2009) Tea consumption and risk of breast cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 18(1):341–345Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Baker JA, Beehler GP, Sawant AC et al (2006) Consumption of coffee, but not black tea, is associated with decreased risk of premenopausal breast cancer. J Nutr 136:166–171PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Zhang M, Holman CDJ, Huang JP, Xie X (2007) Green tea and the prevention of breast cancer: a case control study in Southeast China. Carcinogenesis 28(5):1074–1078CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rosenberg L, Miller DR, Helmrich SP et al (1985) Breast cancer and the consumption of coffee. Am J Epidemiol 122(3):391–399PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Zheng W, Doyle TJ, Kushi LH et al (1996) Tea consumption and cancer incidence in a prospective cohort study of postmenopausal women. Am J Epidemiol 144:175–182PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Folsom AR, McKenzie DR, Bisgard KM et al (1993) No association between caffeine intake and postmenopausal breast cancer incidence in the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Am J Epidemiol 138:380–383PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Suzuki Y, Tsubono Y, Nakaya N et al (2004) Green tea and the risk of breast cancer: pooled analysis of two prospective studies in Japan. Br J Cancer 90:1361–1363CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ganmaa D, Willet WC, Li TY et al (2008) Coffee, tea, caffeine and risk of breast cancer: a 22-year follow-up. Int J Cancer 122:2071–2076CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ishitani K, Lin J, Manson JE (2008) Caffeine consumption and the risk of breast cancer in a large prospective cohort of women. Arch Intern Med 168(18):2022–2031CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Michels KB, Holmberg L, Bergkvist L et al (2002) Coffee, tea, and caffeine consumption and breast cancer incidence in a cohort of Swedish Women. Ann Epidemiol 12(1):21–26CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hirvonen T, Mennen LI, de Bree A et al (2006) Consumption of antioxidant-rich beverages and risk for breast cancer in French women. Ann Epidemiol 16:503–508CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Vatten LJ, Solvoll K, Loken EB (1990) Coffee consumption and the risk of breast cancer. A prospective study of 14, 593 Norwegian women. Br J Cancer 62(2):267–270PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Scalbert A, Williamson G (2000) Dietary intake and bioavailability of polyphenols. J Nutr 130:2073–2085Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Welsch CW, Scieszka KM, Senn ER et al (1983) Caffeine (1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine), a temperate promoter of DMBA-induced rat mammary gland carcinogenesis. Int J Cancer 32(4):479–484CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Trosko JE, Chu HY (1973) Inhibition of repair of UV-damaged DNA by caffeine and mutation induction in Chinese hamster cells. Chem Biol Interact 6(5):317–322CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wang LQ (2002) Mammalian phytoestrogens: enterodiol and enterolactone. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 777(1–2):289–309PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Adlercreutz H (2002) Phyto-oestrogens and cancer. Lancet Oncol 3:364–373CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Brooks JD, Thompson LU (2005) Mammalian lignans and genistein decrease the activities of aromatase and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase in MCF-7 cells. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 94(5):461–467CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Riboli E, Kaaks R (1997) The EPIC project: rationale and study design. Int J Epidemiol 26:S6–S14CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Boker LK, Van Noord PAH, Van Der Schouw YT et al (2001) Prospect-EPIC Utrecht: study design and characteristics of the cohort population. Eur J Epidemiol 17:1047–1053CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Blokstra A, Seidell JC, Smit HA et al. (1998) The monitoring project on risk factors for chronic diseases (MORGEN project) annual report 1997 (in Dutch). RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment), Bilthoven, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ocké MC, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Goddijn HE et al (1997) The Dutch EPIC Food Frequency Questionnaire I. Description of the questionnaire, and relative validity and reproducibility for food groups. Int J Epidemiol 26:S37–S48CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ocké MC, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Pols MA, Smit HA, Van Staveren WA, Kromhout D (1997) The Dutch EPIC Food Frequency Questionnaire II. Relative validity and reproducibility for nutrients. Int J Epidemiol 26:S49–S58CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Fitzmaurice G (2006) Confounding: propensity score adjustment. Nutrition 22:1214–1216CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    D’Agostino RB (1998) Propensity score methods for bias reduction in the comparison of a treatment to a non-randomized control group. Stat Med 17:2265–2281CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Kurth T, Walker AM, Glynn RJ et al (2006) Results of multivariable logistic regression, propensity matching, and propensity-based weighting under conditions of nonuniform effect. Am J Epidemiol 163:262–270CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Willett WC, Howe GR, Kushi LH (1997) Adjustment for total energy intake in epidemiologic studies. Am J Clin Nutr 65:1220S–1228SPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Tang N, Zhou B, Wang B, et al. (2009) Coffee consumption and risk of breast cancer: a metaanalysis. Am J Obstet Gynecol 200(3):290.e1–290.e9Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Luo J, Inoue M, Iwasaki M et al (2007) Green tea and coffee intake and risk of pancreatic cancer in a large scale, population based cohort study in Japan (JPHC study). Eur J Cancer Prev 16(6):542–548CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nirmala Bhoo Pathy
    • 1
    • 2
  • Petra Peeters
    • 1
  • Carla van Gils
    • 1
  • Joline W. J. Beulens
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yolanda van der Graaf
    • 1
  • Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita
    • 3
  • Awang Bulgiba
    • 2
  • Cuno S. P. M. Uiterwaal
    • 1
  1. 1.Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary CareUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)BilthovenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations