Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 267–276 | Cite as

A meta-analysis of coffee and tea consumption and the risk of glioma in adults

  • Stefano Malerba
  • Carlotta Galeone
  • Claudio Pelucchi
  • Federica Turati
  • Mia Hashibe
  • Carlo La Vecchia
  • Alessandra Tavani
Review article



Coffee contains many compounds, including antioxidants, which could prevent cancerogenesis, and coffee has been related with lower incidence of cancer at several sites. Tea is also rich in antioxidants, mainly polyphenols. To provide a quantitative overall estimate on the relation between coffee and tea consumption and glioma, we combined all published data, using a meta-analytic approach.


In September 2012, a bibliography search was carried out in both PubMed and Embase to identify observational studies providing quantitative estimates on the issue. Pooled estimates of the relative risks (RR) and the corresponding 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using random-effects models.


Six studies (four cohort and two case–control studies) were available for meta-analysis, for a total of about 2100 cases. The summary RRs and 95 % CIs of glioma for drinkers versus non/occasional drinkers were 0.96 (95 % CI: 0.81–1.13) for coffee and 0.86 (95 % CI: 0.78–0.94) for tea, with no heterogeneity between studies. When we compared the highest versus the lowest categories of consumption, the RRs were 1.01 (95 % CI: 0.83–1.22) for coffee, 0.88 (95 % CI: 0.69–1.12) for tea, and 0.75 (95 % CI: 0.54–1.05) for coffee plus tea.


This meta-analysis, although based on few studies, suggests a lack of association between coffee intake and glioma risk, and a tendency, if any, to a lower risk for tea and coffee plus tea drinkers.


Coffee Tea Meta-analysis Brain cancer Glioma Observational studies 



The authors thank Mrs. I. Garimoldi for editorial assistance.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest. This work was conducted with the contribution of the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC), project No. 10068. CG was supported by Fondazione Umberto Veronesi. SM and FT were supported by a fellowship from the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research


  1. 1.
    Ohgaki H (2009) Epidemiology of brain tumors. Methods Mol Biol 472:323–342PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ricard D, Idbaih A, Ducray F, Lahutte M, Hoang-Xuan K, Delattre JY (2012) Primary brain tumours in adults. Lancet 379:1984–1996PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Schottenfeld D, Fraumeni F (2006) Cancer Epidemiology and PreventionGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yang CS, Wang X, Lu G, Picinich SC (2009) Cancer prevention by tea: animal studies, molecular mechanisms and human relevance. Nat Rev Cancer 9:429–439PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kang SS, Han KS, Ku BM, Lee YK, Hong J, Shin HY, Almonte AG, Woo DH, Brat DJ, Hwang EM, Yoo SH, Chung CK, Park SH, Paek SH, Roh EJ, Lee SJ, Park JY, Traynelis SF, Lee CJ (2010) Caffeine-mediated inhibition of calcium release channel inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor subtype 3 blocks glioblastoma invasion and extends survival. Cancer Res 70:1173–1183PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fang MZ, Wang Y, Ai N, Hou Z, Sun Y, Lu H, Welsh W, Yang CS (2003) Tea polyphenol (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibits DNA methyltransferase and reactivates methylation-silenced genes in cancer cell lines. Cancer Res 63:7563–7570PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Huber WW, Scharf G, Nagel G, Prustomersky S, Schulte-Hermann R, Kaina B (2003) Coffee and its chemopreventive components Kahweol and Cafestol increase the activity of O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase in rat liver–comparison with phase II xenobiotic metabolism. Mutat Res 522:57–68PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Liu Y, Shete S, Hosking FJ, Robertson LB, Bondy ML, Houlston RS (2010) New insights into susceptibility to glioma. Arch Neurol 67:275–278PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Andersen LF, Jacobs DR Jr, Carlsen MH, Blomhoff R (2006) Consumption of coffee is associated with reduced risk of death attributed to inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases in the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr 83:1039–1046PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Galeone C, Tavani A, Pelucchi C, Turati F, Winn DM, Levi F, Yu GP, Morgenstern H, Kelsey K, Dal Maso L, Purdue MP, McClean M, Talamini R, Hayes RB, Franceschi S, Schantz S, Zhang ZF, Ferro G, Chuang SC, Boffetta P, La Vecchia C, Hashibe M (2010) Coffee and tea intake and risk of head and neck cancer: pooled analysis in the international head and neck cancer epidemiology consortium. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 19:1723–1736PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Turati F, Galeone C, La Vecchia C, Garavello W, Tavani A (2011) Coffee and cancers of the upper digestive and respiratory tracts: meta-analyses of observational studies. Ann Oncol 22:536–544PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bravi F, Bosetti C, Tavani A, Bagnardi V, Gallus S, Negri E, Franceschi S, La Vecchia C (2007) Coffee drinking and hepatocellular carcinoma risk: a meta-analysis. Hepatology 46:430–435PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Je Y, Giovannucci E (2012) Coffee consumption and risk of endometrial cancer: findings from a large up-to-date meta-analysis. Int J Cancer 131:1700–1710PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bravi F, Scotti L, Bosetti C, Gallus S, Negri E, La Vecchia C, Tavani A (2009) Coffee drinking and endometrial cancer risk: a metaanalysis of observational studies. Am J Obstet Gynecol 200:130–135PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Galeone C, Turati F, La Vecchia C, Tavani A (2010) Coffee consumption and risk of colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of case-control studies. Cancer Causes Control 21:1949–1959PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Je Y, Liu W, Giovannucci E (2009) Coffee consumption and risk of colorectal cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Int J Cancer 124:1662–1668PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Zhang X, Albanes D, Beeson WL, van den Brandt PA, Buring JE, Flood A, Freudenheim JL, Giovannucci EL, Goldbohm RA, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Jacobs EJ, Krogh V, Larsson SC, Marshall JR, McCullough ML, Miller AB, Robien K, Rohan TE, Schatzkin A, Sieri S, Spiegelman D, Virtamo J, Wolk A, Willett WC, Zhang SM, Smith-Warner SA (2010) Risk of colon cancer and coffee, tea, and sugar-sweetened soft drink intake: pooled analysis of prospective cohort studies. J Natl Cancer Inst 102:771–783PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Yuan JM, Sun C, Butler LM (2011) Tea and cancer prevention: epidemiological studies. Pharmacol Res 64:123–135PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Dubrow R, Darefsky AS, Freedman ND, Hollenbeck AR, Sinha R (2012) Coffee, tea, soda, and caffeine intake in relation to risk of adult glioma in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Cancer Causes Control 23:757–768PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Holick CN, Smith SG, Giovannucci E, Michaud DS (2010) Coffee, tea, caffeine intake, and risk of adult glioma in three prospective cohort studies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 19:39–47PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Michaud DS, Gallo V, Schlehofer B, Tjonneland A, Olsen A, Overvad K, Dahm CC, Teucher B, Lukanova A, Boeing H, Schutze M, Trichopoulou A, Lagiou P, Kyrozis A, Sacerdote C, Krogh V, Masala G, Tumino R, Mattiello A, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Ros MM, Peeters PH, van Gils CH, Skeie G, Engeset D, Parr CL, Ardanaz E, Chirlaque MD, Dorronsoro M, Sanchez MJ, Arguelles M, Jakszyn P, Nilsson LM, Melin BS, Manjer J, Wirfalt E, Khaw KT, Wareham N, Allen NE, Key TJ, Romieu I, Vineis P, Riboli E (2010) Coffee and tea intake and risk of brain tumors in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr 92:1145–1150PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Burch JD, Craib KJ, Choi BC, Miller AB, Risch HA, Howe GR (1987) An exploratory case-control study of brain tumors in adults. J Natl Cancer Inst 78:601–609PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Efird JT, Friedman GD, Sidney S, Klatsky A, Habel LA, Udaltsova NV, Van den Eeden S, Nelson LM (2004) The risk for malignant primary adult-onset glioma in a large, multiethnic, managed-care cohort: cigarette smoking and other lifestyle behaviors. J Neurooncol 68:57–69PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hochberg F, Toniolo P, Cole P, Salcman M (1990) Nonoccupational risk indicators of glioblastoma in adults. J Neurooncol 8:55–60PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Stroup DF, Berlin JA, Morton SC, Olkin I, Williamson GD, Rennie D, Moher D, Becker BJ, Sipe TA, Thacker SB (2000) Meta-analysis of observational studies in epidemiology: a proposal for reporting. Meta-analysis Of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) group. JAMA 283:2008–2012PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Hamling J, Lee P, Weitkunat R, Ambuhl M (2008) Facilitating meta-analyses by deriving relative effect and precision estimates for alternative comparisons from a set of estimates presented by exposure level or disease category. Stat Med 27:954–970PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Greenland S, Longnecker MP (1992) Methods for trend estimation from summarized dose-response data, with applications to meta-analysis. Am J Epidemiol 135:1301–1309PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Greenland S (1987) Quantitative methods in the review of epidemiologic literature. Epidemiol Rev 9:1–30PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Higgins JP, Thompson SG, Deeks JJ, Altman DG (2003) Measuring inconsistency in meta-analyses. BMJ 327:557–560PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Thornton A, Lee P (2000) Publication bias in meta-analysis: its causes and consequences. J Clin Epidemiol 53:207–216PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Egger M, Smith GD, Schneider M, Minder C (1997) Bias in meta-analysis detected by a simple, graphical test. BMJ 315:629–634PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Blowers L, Preston-Martin S, Mack WJ (1997) Dietary and other lifestyle factors of women with brain gliomas in Los Angeles County (California, USA). Cancer Causes Control 8:5–12PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Giles GG, McNeil JJ, Donnan G, Webley C, Staples MP, Ireland PD, Hurley SF, Salzberg M (1994) Dietary factors and the risk of glioma in adults: results of a case-control study in Melbourne, Australia. Int J Cancer 59:357–362PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefano Malerba
    • 1
  • Carlotta Galeone
    • 1
  • Claudio Pelucchi
    • 1
  • Federica Turati
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mia Hashibe
    • 3
  • Carlo La Vecchia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alessandra Tavani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyIstituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario NegriMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Occupational Health Clinica del Lavoro Luigi DevotoUniversity of MilanMilanItaly
  3. 3.Division of Public Health, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Huntsman Cancer InstituteUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA

Personalised recommendations