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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 Feb 4. pii: S0190-9622(19)30195-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2019.01.084. [Epub ahead of print]

Coffee, tea, caffeine, and risk of non-melanoma skin cancer in a Chinese population: The Singapore Chinese Health Study.

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Department of Dermatology, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore. Electronic address:
Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore; Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore. Electronic address:



While epidemiological studies in populations of European-descent suggest possible chemo-protective effect of caffeine against non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), data in Asian populations are lacking.


We examined the relations between coffee, tea and caffeine consumption, and NMSC risk among Chinese in Singapore.


We used data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a prospective cohort of 63,257 men and women aged 45-74 years at recruitment from 1993 to 1998. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using multivariable Cox proportional hazard models.


Coffee drinking was associated with reduced NMSC risk in a dose-dependent manner (P trend<0.0001); compared with those who drank coffee less than weekly, in those who drank ≥3 cups/day, HRs (95% CIs) were 0.54 (0.31-0.93) for risk of basal cell carcinoma, and 0.33 (0.13-0.84) for risk of squamous cell carcinoma. Compared with non-drinkers, daily drinkers of black tea also had reduced NMSC risk (HR=0.70; 95% CI=0.52-0.94). Caffeine intake reduced NMSC risk in a stepwise manner (P trend=0.0025); subjects with caffeine intake ≥400 mg/day had the lowest risk (HR=0.59; 95% CI=0.34-1.04).


Consumption of caffeinated drinks such as coffee and black tea may reduce the risk of NMSC among Chinese.


Chinese; caffeine; coffee; non-melanoma skin cancer; tea


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