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Coffee consumption and risk of renal cancer: a meta-analysis of cohort evidence



There is increasing evidence that coffee consumption is related to reduced risks for some cancers, but the evidence for renal cancer is inconclusive. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis to summarize the cohort evidence of this relationship.


A literature search was performed in PubMed and Embase through February 2021. Meta-analyses using a random effects model were conducted for reported relative risk estimates (RRs) relating coffee intake and renal cancer incidence or mortality. We also performed a two-stage random effects exposure–response meta-analysis. Between-study heterogeneity was assessed.


In a meta-analysis of the ten identified cohort studies, we found a summary RR of 0.88 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.78–0.99] relating the highest vs. the lowest category of coffee intake and renal cancer, with no significant between-study heterogeneity observed (I2 = 35%, p = 0.13). This inverse association remained among studies of incident cancers (RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.76–0.96) and studies adjusting for smoking and body mass index (RR 0.87, 95% CI 0.77–0.99).


Our findings from this meta-analysis of the published cohort evidence are suggestive of an inverse association between coffee consumption and renal cancer risk.

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Data availability

All data reported in this manuscript are found in the literature as cited in the text.

Code availability

Researchers who are interested in R codes for the analyses may contact the authors.



Medical subject headings


Meta-analysis of observational studies in epidemiology


Relative risk


Confidence interval


Chronic kidney disease


Body mass index


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This research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics.

Author information




JR: designed study, extracted data, conducted analyses, and wrote the manuscript. RKL contributed to literature searches, literature review, data retrieval and provided feedback to the manuscript. MPP critically reviewed the manuscript and supervised the project.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mark P. Purdue.

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Rhee, J., Lim, R.K. & Purdue, M.P. Coffee consumption and risk of renal cancer: a meta-analysis of cohort evidence. Cancer Causes Control (2021).

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  • Coffee
  • Kidney cancer
  • Cohort study
  • Meta-analysis