Coffee Consumption Not Linked to Increased Cancer Risk in African Americans

Coffee consumption is not associated with a risk of prostate, lung, breast, or colorectal cancer in African Americans, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.

The association between coffee consumption and the incidence of cancer has not been thoroughly examined in African Americans, the investigators noted. They conducted a nested case-control study comprised of just over 1,800 cancer cases and 3,337 controls. Data were gleaned for African Americans from the Southern Community Cohort Study (SCCS). The researchers assessed correlations between coffee drinking using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), which was developed specifically for the study population. The FFQ gauged coffee drinking frequency of consumption using the following scale: never, rarely, once a month, two to three times a month, once a week, two to three times a week, four to six times a week, once a day, and two or more times a day. Coffee consumption was then linked risk of four common cancers (lung, prostate, breast, colorectal).

Following analysis, the results showed that only ≤9.5% of African American cases and controls from the SCCS drank regular or decaffeinated coffee two or more times a day. After adjustment for major cancer-specific risk factors, the researchers observed that coffee consumption was not statistically significantly associated with the risk of lung, breast, colorectal, or prostate cancers (odds ratio [OR], 0.78-1.10, P≥0.27 for ≥2 versus <1 times/day) or overall cancer risk (OR, 0.93; 95% confidence interval, 0.75-1.16; P=0.52 for ≥2 versus <1 times/day).

In conclusion, the researchers wrote, “We confirmed the relatively low consumption of coffee among African Americans in the SCCS and showed that coffee consumption was not strongly associated with risk of any of the four major cancer types in African Americans. Demographic, cultural, environmental, and genetic factors that differ across racial/ethnic groups may modify the association of coffee consumption with cancer risk, and thus, larger cohorts with a higher proportion of coffee drinkers and complete exposure assessment are needed in future studies to further evaluate the relation between coffee consumption and cancer in African Americans.”