Coffee and tea consumption and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in Italy

Int J Cancer. 2007 Apr 1;120(7):1555-9. doi: 10.1002/ijc.22509.


The role of coffee in the aetiology of hepatocellular carcinoma has raised great interest. In Italy, coffee consumption is high, thus allowing the investigation of the topic over a broad range of consumption. A hospital-based case-control study was conducted in Italy in 1999-2002, including 185 incidents, histologically confirmed cases of hepatocellular carcinoma aged 43-84 years. Controls were 412 subjects admitted to the same hospitals' networks for acute, non-neoplastic diseases unrelated to diet. Coffee and tea consumption were assessed using a validated food-frequency questionnaire. Odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding the 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed using unconditional multiple logistic regression, adjusting for hepatitis viruses seropositivity, alcohol intake, smoking habits and other potential confounding factors. Compared to people who drunk <14 cups/week of coffee, the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma decreased for increasing levels of consumption (OR=0.4, 95% CI: 0.2-1.1 for >or=28 cups/week, p for trend = 0.02). In the present study, inverse relations were observed across strata of hepatitis C and, B virus infections and alcohol drinking. No significant association emerged with consumption of decaffeinated coffee (OR=0.7, 95% CI=0.2-2.5) or tea (OR=1.4, 95% CI=0.8-2.7). The present study supports the hypothesis of a favourable effect of coffee, though not decaffeinated coffee and tea, on the risk on hepatocellular carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / prevention & control
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / virology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coffee*
  • Female
  • Hepacivirus / pathogenicity
  • Hepatitis B virus / pathogenicity
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Liver Neoplasms / virology
  • Lymphoma / epidemiology
  • Lymphoma / prevention & control
  • Lymphoma / virology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tea*


  • Coffee
  • Tea