Epidemiologic evidence on coffee and cancer

Nutr Cancer. 2010;62(3):271-83. doi: 10.1080/01635580903407122.


Coffee consumption is a major and frequent dietary exposure in diverse cultures around the globe whose safety has been questioned. A substantial body of epidemiologic evidence, consisting of over 500 papers relating the consumption of coffee to cancer of various sites, has accumulated to date. Numerous individual, site-specific meta analyses have been undertaken at various times. However, there is no comprehensive, up-to-date overview of the entirety of the knowledge base. To address this need, this review summarized the findings of the meta analyses and recent papers on site-specific human cancers among coffee consumers. For hepatocellular and endometrial cancers, there appears to be a strong and consistent protective association; for colorectal cancer, the direction of association is borderline protective. There appears to be no association with breast, pancreatic, kidney, ovarian, prostate, or gastric cancer. Risk of bladder cancer appears to be associated with heavy coffee consumption in some populations and among men. The associations with childhood leukemia and mother's consumption of coffee were ambiguous-with some suggestion of risk at high levels of daily consumption.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coffee / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Sex Factors


  • Coffee