December 13, 2019

Associations between tea and coffee beverage consumption and the risk of lung cancer in the Singaporean Chinese population

W J Seow et al, 2019. Associations between tea and coffee beverage consumption and the risk of lung cancer in the Singaporean Chinese population, European Journal of Nutrition, published online.


BACKGROUND: Tea and coffee are widely consumed beverages. Tea flavonoids have been shown to inhibit lung tumorigenesis using in vitro and in vivo models. Conversely, coffee contains complex mixtures of biochemically active compounds, some of which may have genotoxic and mutagenic properties. However, previous epidemiologic studies have shown inconsistent results on tea and coffee in relation to lung cancer risk.

METHODS: The Singapore Chinese Health Study is a population-based prospective cohort of 63,257 Singaporean Chinese men and women, with an average of 17.7 years of follow-up. Information on tea and coffee consumption and other lifestyle factors was collected through in-person interviews at baseline. Multivariable Cox regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations with adjustment for potential confounders.

RESULTS: There were 1486 incident lung cancer cases. Compared to non-daily coffee drinkers, HRs (95% CIs) of lung cancer risk for those consuming one, two, and three or more cups of coffee per day were 1.18 (1.02-1.36), 1.21 (1.05-1.40), and 1.32 (1.08-1.62) respectively (P for trend = 0.0034). The highest category of black tea consumption (at least 2 cups per day) was inversely associated with risk of lung cancer [HR (95% CI) = 0.73 (0.53-0.99)], particularly among men [HR (95% CI) = 0.67 (0.47-0.95)], compared to less-than-weekly black tea drinkers, although the interaction by sex was not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: Coffee beverage consumption was associated with higher risk of developing lung cancer. On the other hand, black tea intake was associated with lower risk of lung cancer among men in our cohort, and further studies are needed to confirm this association.

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