Washington: People who drink more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day can halve their risk of mortality from oral cancers, a new study has claimed.
A new American Cancer Society study finds a strong inverse association between caffeinated coffee intake and oral/pharyngeal cancer mortality.
Previous epidemiologic studies have suggested that coffee intake is associated with reduced risk of oral/pharyngeal cancer.
To explore the finding further, researchers examined associations of caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea intake with fatal oral/pharyngeal cancer in the Cancer Prevention Study II, a prospective US cohort study begun in 1982 by the American Cancer Society.
Among 968,432 men and women who were cancer-free at enrolment, 868 deaths due to oral/pharyngeal cancer occurred during 26 years of follow-up.
Researchers found consuming more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day was associated with a 49 per cent lower risk of oral/pharyngeal cancer death relative to none or occasional coffee intake.
A dose-related decline in relative risk was observed with each single cup per day consumed. The association was independent of sex, smoking status, or alcohol use.
There was a suggestion of a similar link among those who drank more than two cups per day of decaffeinated coffee, although that finding was only marginally significant. No association was found for tea drinking.
"Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, and contains a variety of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other biologically active compounds that may help to protect against development or progression of cancers," said lead author Janet Hildebrand.
"Although it is less common in the United States, oral/pharyngeal cancer is among the ten most common cancers in the world. Our finding strengthens the evidence of a possible protective effect of caffeinated coffee in the etiology and/or progression of cancers of the mouth and pharynx," Hildebrand said in a statement.
"It may be of considerable interest to investigate whether coffee consumption can lead to a better prognosis after oral/pharyngeal cancer diagnosis," Hildebrand added.
The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.