Coffee Drinking and Risk of Lung Cancer-A Meta-Analysis

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016 Jun;25(6):951-7. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0727. Epub 2016 Mar 28.


Background: Previous epidemiologic results on coffee consumption and lung cancer risk have not been consistent. Furthermore, not all studies have addressed the potential role of tobacco as a confounder in this association. A meta-analysis was conducted to assess the effect of coffee consumption on lung cancer risk independent of tobacco use.

Methods: A systematic review and a meta-analysis based on random effects models were performed using studies from the PubMed and EMBASE databases, and the references from the retrieved articles. Included were 8 prospective cohorts and 13 case-control studies, which provided data for 19,892 cases and 623,645 non-cases, timeframe 1986-2015.

Results: The meta-relative risk (RR) for coffee drinking, not controlling for tobacco smoking, was 1.09 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.00-1.19], the reference group was never drinkers. There was significant heterogeneity among the study results (Q = 84.39, I² = 75.1%, Pheterogeneity < 0.001). Among non-smokers, coffee was not associated with lung cancer risk (RR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.75-1.10), the reference group was never drinkers. The meta-RR for 1 cup per day increase, unadjusted for smoking, was 1.04 (95% CI, 1.03-1.05); the corresponding RR for non-smokers was 0.95 (95% CI, 0.83-1.09).

Conclusions: The pooled estimates indicated that when the potential confounding effect from smoking is controlled for, coffee drinking does not appear to be a lung cancer risk factor. Further pooled analyses, with larger non-smokers population size, are encouraged to confirm these results.

Impact: This study illustrates that the association between coffee consumption and lung cancer can be confounded by tobacco smoking. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 25(6); 951-7. ©2016 AACR.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Coffee*
  • Drinking*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Tobacco Smoking


  • Coffee