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Coffee consumption and reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: findings from the Singapore Chinese Health Study

Abstract

Background

Coffee consumption has been associated with reduced markers of hepatic cell damage, reduced risk of chronic liver disease, and cirrhosis across a variety of populations. Data on the association between coffee consumption and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), especially in high-risk populations, are sparse.

Methods

This study examines the relationship between coffee and caffeine consumption, and the risk of developing HCC within the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a prospective cohort of 63,257 middle-aged and older Chinese men and women, a relatively high-risk population for HCC. Baseline data on coffee consumption and other dietary and lifestyle factors were collected through in-person interviews at enrollment between 1993 and 1998.

Results

As of 31 December 2006, 362 cohort participants had developed HCC. High levels of coffee or caffeine consumption were associated with reduced risk of HCC (p for trend < 0.05). Compared with non-drinkers of coffee, individuals who consumed three or more cups of coffee per day experienced a statistically significant 44% reduction in risk of HCC (hazard ratio 0.56, 95% confidence interval, 0.31–1.00, p = .049) after adjustment for potential confounders and tea consumption.

Conclusion

These data suggest that coffee consumption may reduce the risk of developing HCC in Chinese in Singapore.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Siew-Hong Low of the National University of Singapore for supervising the field work of the Singapore Chinese Health Study. We also thank the Ministry of Health in Singapore for assistance with the identification of cancer cases via database linkages, and the National University Health System in Singapore for supporting the storage of biospecimens in the Singapore Chinese Health Study.

Funding

National Institutes of Health (NCI R01 CA55069, R35 CA53890 and R01 CA80205). Johnson is a recipient of the training fellowship supported by the National Institutes of Health under Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (T32CA132670).

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Correspondence to Jian-Min Yuan.

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Johnson, S., Koh, WP., Wang, R. et al. Coffee consumption and reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: findings from the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Cancer Causes Control 22, 503–510 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10552-010-9725-0

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Keywords

  • Coffee
  • Caffeine
  • HCC
  • Hepatocellular
  • Liver cancer
  • GGT