Aim: A dose-response meta-analysis was conducted in order to summarize the evidence from prospective cohort studies regarding the association between coffee intake and breast cancer risk. Methods: A systematic search was performed in electronic databases up to March 2017 to identify relevant studies; risk estimates were retrieved from the studies and linear and non-linear dose-response analysis modelled by restricted cubic splines was conducted. A stratified and subgroup analysis by menopausal and estrogen/progesterone receptor (ER/PR) status, smoking status and body mass index (BMI) were performed in order to detect potential confounders. Results: A total of 21 prospective studies were selected either for dose-response, the highest versus lowest category of consumption or subgroup analysis. The dose-response analysis of 13 prospective studies showed no significant association between coffee consumption and breast cancer risk in the non-linear model. However, an inverse relationship has been found when the analysis was restricted to post-menopausal women. Consumption of four cups of coffee per day was associated with a 10% reduction in postmenopausal cancer risk (relative risk, RR 0.90; 95% confidence interval, CI 0.82 to 0.99). Subgroup analyses showed consistent results for all potential confounding factors examined. Conclusions: Findings from this meta-analysis may support the hypothesis that coffee consumption is associated with decreased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.
Keywords: breast cancer; caffeine; coffee; dose-response; meta-analysis; postmenopausal; receptor.