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  • The Link Between Coffee Consumption and the Risk of Developing Endometrial Cancers

    This is the second part of a report on a paper by Hirose and colleagues at the Nagoya university in Japan. They investigated the association of coffee consumption and the risk of developing hormone related cancers.

    Coffee Consumption Studies

    The studies made use of questionnaires into the lifestyles of Japanese women with or without hormone related cancers. In addition to the levels of coffee consumption, other factors such as family history, consumption of alcohol, smoking, exercise and weight were also analysed. The research used the data of women who were from the ages of 40 to 79. Of 5436 cancer patients data from 2122 breast cancer sufferers; 229 endometrial cancer and 166 ovarian cancer sufferers were analysed. A total of 12425 people who had never had cancer were used as the control comparison group.

    Results of the Investigation Into the Link Between Coffee Drinking and Hormone Related Cancers.

    The study found that there was an inverse association between coffee consumption and endometrial cancer when other factors were removed. The odds ratio of women who drank one to two, or three more cups of coffee daily was 0.64 and 0.41. However it was noted that people who drank large amounts of coffee tended to eat less fruit and had a higher consumption of alcohol, and smoked more. Also endometrial cancer risk is also linked to body mass. Therefore even though coffee consumption could be said to reduce the risks of developing endometrial cancer the above habits of coffee drinkers means that they may be at an equal risk as non-drinkers.

    With regards to breast and ovarian cancers no relationship was found between coffee consumption and risk in these Japanese studies. This goes against the findings of many cohort studies carried out in the western world, where an association in lean women, coffee consumption and lower risk of developing breast cancers has been reported. Reports from Australia have suggested that there is an inverse relationship between coffee consumption and the risks of developing ovarian cancers.

    It is therefore thought by the authors that high coffee consumption may reduce the risk of developing endometrial cancer, and this is especially likely in lean women.

    Hirose et al, 2007. Coffee consumption and the risk of endometrial cancer: Evidence from a case-control study of female hormone-related cancers in japan.
    cancer Sci. 98: 411 to 415