Tea and Coffee Intake in Relation to Risk of Breast Cancer in the Black Women's Health Study

Cancer Causes Control. 2010 Nov;21(11):1941-8. doi: 10.1007/s10552-010-9622-6. Epub 2010 Aug 3.


Objective: Prospective studies of tea and coffee intake and breast cancer risk have yielded inconsistent results. None of these studies has reported separately on African-American women. We prospectively examined the relation of tea and coffee consumption to risk of breast cancer among 52,062 women aged 21-69 at enrollment in 1995 in the Black Women's Health Study.

Methods: Dietary intake was assessed in 1995 and 2001 using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI), adjusted for breast cancer risk factors.

Results: During 12 years of follow-up through 2007, there were 1,268 incident cases of breast cancer. Intakes of tea, coffee, and caffeine were not significantly associated with the risk of breast cancer overall. The IRRs for consumption of ≥4 cups/day compared with none were 1.13 (95% CI 0.78-1.63) for tea and 1.03 (95% CI 0.77-1.39) for caffeinated coffee, and the IRR for the top quintile relative to the bottom quintile of caffeine intake was 1.04 (95% CI 0.87-1.24). Consumption of tea, coffee, and caffeine was not significantly associated with breast cancer risk according to menopausal status or hormone receptor status.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that intakes of tea, coffee, and caffeine are not associated with the risk of breast cancer among African-American women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Caffeine / adverse effects
  • Coffee / adverse effects*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tea / adverse effects*


  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Caffeine