Association between coffee or tea drinking and Barrett's esophagus or esophagitis: an Italian study

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2017 Aug;71(8):980-986. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2017.64. Epub 2017 May 10.


Background/objectives: Only a few papers have treated of the relationship between Barrett's esophagus (BE) or erosive esophagitis (E) and coffee or tea intake. We evaluated the role of these beverages in BE and E occurrence.

Subjects/methods: Patients with BE (339), E (462) and controls (619) were recruited. Data on coffee and tea and other individual characteristics were collected using a structured questionnaire.

Results: BE risk was higher in former coffee drinkers, irrespective of levels of exposure (cup per day; ⩽1: OR=3.76, 95% CI 1.33-10.6; >1: OR=3.79, 95% CI 1.31-11.0; test for linear trend (TLT) P=0.006) and was higher with duration (>30 years: OR=4.18, 95% CI 1.43-12.3; TLT P=0.004) and for late quitters, respectively (⩽3 years from cessation: OR=5.95, 95% CI 2.19-16.2; TLT P<0.001). The risk of BE was also higher in subjects who started drinking coffee later (age >18 years: OR=6.10, 95% CI 2.15-17.3). No association was found in current drinkers, but for an increased risk of E in light drinkers (<1 cup per day OR =1.85, 95% CI 1.00-3.43).A discernible risk reduction of E (about 20%, not significant) and BE (about 30%, P<0.05) was observed in tea drinkers.

Conclusions: Our data were suggestive of a reduced risk of BE and E with tea intake. An adverse effect of coffee was found among BE patients who had stopped drinking coffee. Coffee or tea intakes could be indicative of other lifestyle habits with protective or adverse impact on esophageal mucosa.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Barrett Esophagus / diagnostic imaging
  • Barrett Esophagus / epidemiology
  • Barrett Esophagus / etiology
  • Barrett Esophagus / prevention & control*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coffee* / adverse effects
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Esophageal Mucosa / diagnostic imaging
  • Esophagitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Esophagitis / epidemiology
  • Esophagitis / etiology
  • Esophagitis / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Functional Food*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report
  • Tea* / adverse effects
  • Teas, Herbal / adverse effects


  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Teas, Herbal