Coffee and tea intake and risk of oral, pharyngeal and esophageal cancer

Alessandra Tavani, Michaela Bertuzzi, Renato Talamini, Silvano Gallus, Maria Parpinel, Silvia Franceschi, Fabio Levi, Carlo La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relation between coffee, decaffeinated coffee, tea and oral/pharyngeal, and esophageal cancer risk is inadequately quantified. Data were derived from hospital-based case-control studies conducted in Italy and Switzerland. The study on oral/pharyngeal cancer included 749 cases and 1772 controls, and that of esophageal cancer 395 cases and 1066 controls. Multivariate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed. The OR for >3 cups/day of coffee compared with ≤1 were 0.6 (95% CI 0.5-0.9) for oral/pharyngeal, and 0.6 (95% CI 0.4-0.9) for esophageal cancer, consistent across strata of age, sex, education and alcohol. The inverse trends in risk were significant. No association emerged with decaffeinated coffee (OR 1.1 for oral/pharyngeal and 0.6 for esophageal cancer) or tea (OR 0.9 for both cancers), consumed in low amounts by these populations. Coffee may decrease the risk of oral/pharyngeal and esophageal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-700
Number of pages6
JournalOral Oncology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003


  • Case-control study
  • Coffee
  • Decaffeinated coffee
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Oral and pharyngeal cancer
  • Risk factors
  • Tea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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