A prospective study of coffee and tea consumption and the risk of glioma in the UK Biobank

Background: Coffee and tea have been hypothesised to reduce the risk of some cancers; however, their impact on glioma is less well studied.

Methods: We examined associations between self-reported intake of tea and coffee in relation to glioma risk in the UK Biobank. We identified 487 incident glioma cases among 379,259 participants. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for glioma according to caffeinated beverage consumption were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression with adjustment for age, gender, race and education; daily cups of tea or coffee were included in models considering the other beverage.

Results: Consuming 4 or more cups of tea was associated with reduced risk of glioma when compared to no tea consumption (HR = 0.69; 95% CI, 0.51-0.94). A significant inverse association was observed for glioblastoma (HR = 0.93 per 1 cup/d increment; 95% CI, 0.89-0.98) and among males for all gliomas combined (HR = 0.95 per 1 cup/d increment; 95% CI, 0.90-1.00). A suggestive inverse association was also observed with greater consumption of coffee (HR = 0.71; 95% CI, 0.49-1.05 for >4 versus 0 cups/d). Results were not materially changed with further adjustment for smoking, alcohol and body mass index. Associations were similar in 2-year and 3-year lagged analyses.

Conclusions: In this prospective study, we found a significant inverse association between tea consumption and the risk of developing glioma, and a suggestive inverse association for the consumption of coffee. Further investigation on the possible preventive role of caffeine in glioma is warranted.