Coffee consumption and the risk of breast cancer.Eur J Cancer Prev 1998; 7(1):77-82EJ
On the basis of clinical observations that some women with fibrocystic breast disease experienced resolution of the disease on eliminating methylxanthines from their diet, it has been suggested that coffee intake might be related to breast carcinogenesis. The relationship between coffee (mostly expresso and mocha), decaffeinated coffee and tea intake and breast cancer risk was therefore considered, combining data from two case-control studies, conducted in Italy between 1983 and 1994. Cases were 5,984 women, below age 75, with histologically confirmed breast cancer, and controls were 5,504 women admitted to hospital for a wide spectrum of acute, non-neoplastic, non-hormone-related diseases. The odds ratios (ORs) were estimated from multiple logistic regression equations including terms for study/centre, age, education, body mass index, smoking status, total alcohol intake, age at menarche and menopause, parity and age at first birth, use of oral contraceptives, use of hormone replacement therapy, history of benign breast disease and family history of breast cancer. No relationship was observed between coffee intake and the risk of breast cancer. The multivariate ORs were 1.17 (1.03-1.33), 1.17 (1.04-1.33), 1.21 (1.06-1.37) and 0.96 (0.83-1.11) for women drinking < 2, 2, > 2 to < 4 and > or = 4 cups/day compared to non-drinkers. Decaffeinated coffee was consumed only by 6-7% of cases and controls and the corresponding OR was 0.84 (0.72-0.98). Tea consumption was also low and not associated with the risk of breast cancer (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.85-1.03). No significant heterogeneity was found for coffee intake across strata of age at diagnosis, education, body mass index, smoking status, total alcohol intake, age at menarche and menopause, parity, age at first birth, ever use of oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, history of benign breast disease and family history of breast cancer. Thus, this study, based on a large data set, allows us to exclude the hypothesis that coffee intake is related to breast cancer risk in this Italian population.