Coffee and tea intake and risk of head and neck cancer: Pooled analysis in the international head and neck cancer epidemiology consortium

Carlotta Galeone, Alessandra Tavani, Claudio Pelucchi, Federica Turati, Deborah M. Winn, Fabio Levi, Guo Pei Yu, Hal Morgenstern, Karl Kelsey, Luigino Dal Maso, Mark P. Purdue, Michael McClean, Renato Talamini, Richard B. Hayes, Silvia Franceschi, Stimson Schantz, Zuo Feng Zhang, Gilles Ferro, Shu Chun Chuang, Paolo BoffettaCarlo La Vecchia, Mia Hashibe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Only a few studies have explored the relation between coffee and tea intake and head and neck cancers, with inconsistent results. Methods: We pooled individual-level data from nine case-control studies of head and neck cancers, including 5,139 cases and 9,028 controls. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), adjusting for potential confounders. Results: Caffeinated coffee intake was inversely related with the risk of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx: the ORs were 0.96 (95% CI, 0.94-0.98) for an increment of 1 cup per day and 0.61 (95% CI, 0.47-0.80) in drinkers of >4 cups per day versus nondrinkers. This latter estimate was consistent for different anatomic sites (OR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.30-0.71 for oral cavity; OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.41-0.82 for oropharynx/ hypopharynx; and OR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.37-1.01 for oral cavity/pharynx not otherwise specified) and across strata of selected covariates. No association of caffeinated coffee drinking was found with laryngeal cancer (OR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.64-1.45 in drinkers of >4 cups per day versus nondrinkers). Data on decaffeinated coffee were too sparse for detailed analysis, but indicated no increased risk. Tea intake was not associated with head and neck cancer risk (OR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.89-1.11 for drinkers versus nondrinkers). Conclusions: This pooled analysis of case-control studies supports the hypothesis of an inverse association between caffeinated coffee drinking and risk of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx. Impact: Given widespread use of coffee and the relatively high incidence and low survival of head and neck cancers, the observed inverse association may have appreciable public health relevance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1723-1736
Number of pages14
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Galeone, C., Tavani, A., Pelucchi, C., Turati, F., Winn, D. M., Levi, F., Yu, G. P., Morgenstern, H., Kelsey, K., Dal Maso, L., Purdue, M. P., McClean, M., Talamini, R., Hayes, R. B., Franceschi, S., Schantz, S., Zhang, Z. F., Ferro, G., Chuang, S. C., ... Hashibe, M. (2010). Coffee and tea intake and risk of head and neck cancer: Pooled analysis in the international head and neck cancer epidemiology consortium. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, 19(7), 1723-1736.