Coffee May Reduce Risk of Lethal Prostate Cancer in Men
regularly drink coffee appear to have a lower risk of developing a
lethal form of prostate cancer, according to a new study led by Harvard
School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. What's more, the lower risk
was evident among men who drank either regular or decaffeinated coffee.
The study was published in an online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
have specifically studied the association of coffee intake and the risk
of lethal prostate cancer, the form of the disease that is the most
critical to prevent. Our study is the largest to date to examine
whether coffee could lower the risk of lethal prostate cancer," said
senior author Lorelei Mucci, associate professor of epidemiology at
HSPH. Lethal prostate cancer is cancer that causes death or spreads to
cancer is the most frequently diagnosed form of cancer and the second
leading cause of cancer death among U.S. men, affecting one in six men
during their lifetime. More than 2 million men in the U.S. and 16
million men worldwide are prostate cancer survivors.
we lack an understanding of risk factors that can be changed or
controlled to lower the risk of lethal prostate cancer. If our findings
are validated, coffee could represent one modifiable factor that may
lower the risk of developing the most harmful form of prostate cancer,"
said lead author Kathryn Wilson, a research fellow in epidemiology at
researchers chose to study coffee because it contains many beneficial
compounds that act as antioxidants, reduce inflammation, and regulate
insulin, all of which may influence prostate cancer. Coffee has been
associated in prior studies with a lower risk of Parkinson's disease,
type 2 diabetes, gallstone disease, and liver cancer or cirrhosis.
examined the association between coffee consumption and the risk of
prostate cancer, particularly the risk for aggressive prostate cancer
among 47,911 U.S. men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who
reported their coffee consumption every four years from 1986 to 2008.
During the study period, 5,035 cases of prostate cancer were reported,
including 642 fatal or metastatic cases.
Among the findings:
- Men who consumed the most coffee (six or more cups daily) had nearly a 20% lower risk of developing any form of prostate cancer.
inverse association with coffee was even stronger for aggressive
prostate cancer. Men who drank the most coffee had a 60% lower risk of
developing lethal prostate cancer.
- The reduction in risk was seen whether the men drank decaffeinated or regular coffee, and does not appear to be due to caffeine.
- Even drinking one to three cups of coffee per day was associated with a 30% lower risk of lethal prostate cancer.
drinkers were more likely to smoke and less likely to exercise,
behaviors that may increase advanced prostate cancer risk. These and
other lifestyle factors were controlled for in the study and coffee
still was associated with a lower risk.
from this study need to be validated in additional populations that
have a range of coffee exposure and a large number of lethal prostate
cancer cases. If confirmed, the data would add to the list of other
potential health benefits of coffee. The authors currently are planning
additional studies to understand specific mechanisms by which coffee
may specifically lower the risk of lethal prostate cancer.
For more information on the Harvard School of Public Health, visit http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/