Background: The relationships between coffee, tea, and sugar-sweetened carbonated soft drink consumption and colon cancer risk remain unresolved.
Methods: We investigated prospectively the association between coffee, tea, and sugar-sweetened carbonated soft drink consumption and colon cancer risk in a pooled analysis of primary data from 13 cohort studies. Among 731 441 participants followed for up to 6-20 years, 5604 incident colon cancer case patients were identified. Study-specific relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models and then pooled using a random-effects model. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Results: Compared with nonconsumers, the pooled multivariable relative risks were 1.07 (95% CI = 0.89 to 1.30, P(trend) = .68) for coffee consumption greater than 1400 g/d (about six 8-oz cups) and 1.28 (95% CI = 1.02 to 1.61, P(trend) = .01) for tea consumption greater than 900 g/d (about four 8-oz cups). For sugar-sweetened carbonated soft drink consumption, the pooled multivariable relative risk comparing consumption greater than 550 g/d (about 18 oz) to nonconsumers was 0.94 (95% CI = 0.66 to 1.32, P(trend) = .91). No statistically significant between-studies heterogeneity was observed for the highest category of each beverage consumed (P > .20). The observed associations did not differ by sex, smoking status, alcohol consumption, body mass index, physical activity, or tumor site (P > .05).
Conclusions: Drinking coffee or sugar-sweetened carbonated soft drinks was not associated with colon cancer risk. However, a modest positive association with higher tea consumption is possible and requires further study.