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Cancer Causes Control. 1998 Mar;9(2):209-16.

Tea and coffee consumption and the risk of digestive tract cancers: data from a comparative case-referent study in Japan.

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Division of Epidemiology, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute, Nagoya, Japan.



The purpose of this study was to examine the hypothesis that tea and coffee consumption have a protective effect against development of digestive tract cancers.


A comparative case-referent study was conducted using Hospital-based Epidemiologic Research Program at Aichi Cancer Center (HERPACC) data from 1990 to 1995 in Nagoya, Japan. This study comprised 1,706 histologically diagnosed cases of digestive tract cancers (185 esophagus, 893 stomach, 362 colon, 266 rectum) and a total of 21,128 non-cancer outpatients aged 40 years and over. Logistic regression was used to analyze the data, adjusting for gender; age; year and season at hospital-visit; habitual smoking and alcohol drinking; regular physical exercise; fruit, rice, and beef intake; and beverage intake.


The odds ratio (OR) of stomach cancer decreased to 0.69 (95 percent confidence interval [CI] = 0.48-1.00) with high intake of green tea (seven cups or more per day). A decreased risk was also observed for rectal cancer with three cups or more daily intake of coffee (OR = 0.46, CI = 0.26-0.81).


The results suggest the potential for protective effect against site-specific digestive tract cancer by consumption of green tea and coffee, although most associations are limited only to the upper category of intake and have no clear explanation for site-specificity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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