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Does Drinking Coffee Reduce the Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma?

By: Vanessa A. Carter, BS
Posted: Monday, March 22, 2021

Although the consumption of coffee has been associated with reduced cancer risk, the evidence regarding its role in renal cell carcinoma development is lacking. Mark P. Purdue, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland, and colleagues analyzed the correlation between coffee consumption and renal cell carcinoma; they discovered a 20% reduced risk of renal cell carcinoma in people who drank more than two cups of coffee per day. Their results were published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

About 3.5 million American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) members were mailed a comprehensive questionnaire assessing lifestyle, health, and diet between 1995 to 1996. Of them, 556,398 participants completed the questionnaire, and 420,118 fit the cancer-free eligibility requirements for analysis. Age, race, and sex were also obtained. A self-administered food frequency questionnaire was completed to determine the frequency, amount, and type of coffee consumed by participants.

A total of 2,674 incident cases of renal cell carcinoma were reported. The median age at baseline was 62. A majority of patients were male (57%), married (68%), and non-Hispanic White (91%). Approximately 90% of survey respondents drank coffee, and 57% drank two cups a day.

When the investigators adjusted for sex, there was a “weak” inverse relationship relating coffee intake to risk of renal cell carcinoma; however, this relationship became stronger when the multivariable model was fit. People who consumed caffeinated coffee, were never-smokers, were male, or were diagnosed more than 10 years from baseline demonstrated a stronger inverse relationship with developing renal cell carcinoma. Yet, caffeine and sex were not identified as modifiers. This inverse relationship was also strong for clear cell renal cell carcinoma versus non–clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

There was no reported difference in association according to BMI, race/ethnicity, alcohol consumption, or self-reported history of diabetes or hypertension.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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