Coffee consumption and reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: findings from the Singapore Chinese Health Study

Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Mar;22(3):503-10. doi: 10.1007/s10552-010-9725-0. Epub 2011 Jan 22.


Background: Coffee consumption has been associated with reduced markers of hepatic cell damage, reduced risk of chronic liver disease, and cirrhosis across a variety of populations. Data on the association between coffee consumption and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), especially in high-risk populations, are sparse.

Methods: This study examines the relationship between coffee and caffeine consumption, and the risk of developing HCC within the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a prospective cohort of 63,257 middle-aged and older Chinese men and women, a relatively high-risk population for HCC. Baseline data on coffee consumption and other dietary and lifestyle factors were collected through in-person interviews at enrollment between 1993 and 1998.

Results: As of 31 December 2006, 362 cohort participants had developed HCC. High levels of coffee or caffeine consumption were associated with reduced risk of HCC (p for trend < 0.05). Compared with non-drinkers of coffee, individuals who consumed three or more cups of coffee per day experienced a statistically significant 44% reduction in risk of HCC (hazard ratio 0.56, 95% confidence interval, 0.31-1.00, p = .049) after adjustment for potential confounders and tea consumption.

Conclusion: These data suggest that coffee consumption may reduce the risk of developing HCC in Chinese in Singapore.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / ethnology*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / epidemiology*
  • Coffee*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / prevention & control
  • Liver Diseases / complications
  • Liver Diseases / physiopathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Singapore / epidemiology
  • Tea


  • Coffee
  • Tea