Associations of coffee, tea and caffeine intake with risk of breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer among Canadian women

Rhonda Arthur, Victoria A. Kirsh, Thomas E. Rohan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Background: Although, biologically plausible evidence has implicated coffee, tea and caffeine with carcinogenesis, there is a paucity of data on their associations with risk of cancer among Canadian women. Hence, we assessed their associations with risk of breast, endometrial and ovarian cancers within this population. Methods: The study comprised a subcohort of 3185 women from a cohort of 39,532 female participants who completed self-administered lifestyle and dietary questionnaires at enrollment. During a median follow-up of approximately 12.2years, we ascertained 922, 180 and 104 breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer cases, respectively. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models modified for the case-cohort design to estimate the hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the associations of coffee, tea and caffeine with risk of selected cancers. Results: Coffee, tea, and caffeine intake were not associated with overall risk of breast and ovarian cancers. There was, however, a tendency towards an increased risk of breast cancer with increasing levels of total coffee, caffeinated coffee and/or caffeine among premenopausal and normal weight women. Total coffee, caffeinated coffee, and caffeine were inversely associated with risk of endometrial cancer (HR per cup increase : 0.88; 95% CI: 0.79-0.95, HR per cup increase: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.80-0.96 and HR per 100mg increase: 0.93; 95% CI: 0.87-0.99, respectively). Conclusion: Our findings suggest that coffee and/or caffeine may be associated with reduced risk of endometrial cancer but, probably, associated increased with risk of breast cancer among premenopausal or normal weight women. However, further studies are needed to confirm our findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Epidemiology
StatePublished - Oct 2018



  • Breast cancer
  • Caffeine
  • Coffee
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Tea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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