Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 519–525 | Cite as

Interactions of coffee consumption and postmenopausal hormone use in relation to breast cancer risk in UK Biobank

  • Lusine Yaghjyan
  • Shannan Rich
  • Liang Mao
  • Volker Mai
  • Kathleen M. Egan
Original paper



We investigated the association of coffee consumption with postmenopausal breast cancer risk, overall and by the status of postmenopausal hormone therapy (PMH).


This study included 126,182 postmenopausal women (2,636 with breast cancer and 123,546 without) from UK Biobank. Cancer diagnoses were ascertained through the linkage to the UK National Health Service Central Registers. Information on breast cancer risk factors and coffee consumption was collected at baseline and updated during follow-up. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to evaluate associations between coffee consumption and breast cancer, overall and in stratified analyses by woman’s PMH status (none, past, current).


In the overall analysis, coffee consumption was not associated with breast cancer risk (Hazard Ratio [HR] 1.00, 95% CI 0.91–1.11 for 2–3 cups/day, and HR 0.98, 95% CI 0.87–1.10 for ≥ 4 cups/day, p-trend = 0.69). Women with no PMH history who consumed ≥ 4 cups/day had a 16% reduced risk of breast cancer as compared to women who consumed < 7 cups/week (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.71–1.00). Among women with past PMH, those consuming ≥ 4 cups/day had a 22% greater risk of breast cancer than women consuming < 7 cups/week (HR 1.22, 95% CI 1.01–1.47). No association was found among current PMH users. We found no significant interaction between PMH and coffee consumption (p = 0.24).


Coffee consumption might be associated with increased breast cancer risk in women who used hormones in the past. Further studies are warranted to confirm these findings and elucidate potential biological mechanisms underlying the observed associations.


Coffee intake Postmenopausal hormones Breast cancer risk UK Biobank 



This research has been conducted using the UK Biobank Resource.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

This study was approved by the University of Florida Institutional Review Board. UK Biobank was approved by the North West Multi-centre Research Ethics Committee (MREC), which covers the UK. All participants of UK Biobank provided written consent at recruitment.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health and Health Professions and College of MedicineUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography, College of Liberal Arts and SciencesUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Cancer EpidemiologyH. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research InstituteTampaUSA

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