Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Jan;23(1):107-16. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0796. Epub 2013 Oct 15.

Maté drinking and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in South America: pooled results from two large multicenter case-control studies.

Author information

Authors' Affiliations: Biostatistics Branch and Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland; Epidemiology Group, Department of Pathology; Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of the Republic; Deneo-Pellegrini, Director, Department of Pathology, Cancer Institute; Unit of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Pereira Rossell Women's Hospital, Montevideo; IUCLAEH School of Medicine, Maldonado, Uruguay; The Tisch Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York; Post-Graduate Program in Epidemiology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; Nubia Muñoz, Cancer Institute of Colombia, Bogota, Colombia; Infections and Cancer Epidemiology Group, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France; and Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), IDIBELL, CIBERESP, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat 08908, Catalonia, Spain.



Maté tea is a nonalcoholic infusion widely consumed in southern South America, and may increase risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and other cancers due to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and/or thermal injury.


We pooled two case-control studies: a 1988 to 2005 Uruguay study and a 1986 to 1992 multinational study in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, including 1,400 cases and 3,229 controls. We computed ORs and fitted a linear excess OR (EOR) model for cumulative maté consumption in liters/day-year (LPDY).


The adjusted OR for ESCC with 95% confidence interval (CI) by ever compared with never use of maté was 1.60 (1.2-2.2). ORs increased linearly with LPDY (test of nonlinearity; P = 0.69). The estimate of slope (EOR/LPDY) was 0.009 (0.005-0.014) and did not vary with daily intake, indicating maté intensity did not influence the strength of association. EOR/LPDY estimates for consumption at warm, hot, and very hot beverage temperatures were 0.004 (-0.002-0.013), 0.007 (0.003-0.013), and 0.016 (0.009-0.027), respectively, and differed significantly (P < 0.01). EOR/LPDY estimates were increased in younger (<65) individuals and never alcohol drinkers, but these evaluations were post hoc, and were homogeneous by sex.


ORs for ESCC increased linearly with cumulative maté consumption and were unrelated to intensity, so greater daily consumption for shorter duration or lesser daily consumption for longer duration resulted in comparable ORs. The strength of association increased with higher maté temperatures.


Increased understanding of cancer risks with maté consumption enhances the understanding of the public health consequences given its purported health benefits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center