Public Release: 

Coffee may protect against bladder cancer

BMJ Specialty Journals

Tobacco consumption and bladder cancer in non-coffee drinkers 2001;55:68-70

Coffee may protect against the development of bladder cancer, especially in smokers, suggests a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Researchers analysed data from all new and already diagnosed cases of bladder cancer over a 12 month period from 12 general hospitals across Spain. These cases numbered just under 500. All patients and over 1000 comparison cases supplied details of their employment history, tobacco use, including exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, and diet, including coffee consumption.

Smoking is the main risk factor for bladder cancer. But the damaging effect of cigarette smoking was more than double in those who drank fewer than two cups of coffee a week compared with regular coffee drinkers. Smokers who drank coffee were three times as likely to develop bladder cancer as non-smoking coffee drinkers. But smokers who didn't drink coffee were seven times as likely to develop the disease as non-smokers.

The authors conclude that the results show that smoking may be an even greater risk for bladder cancer than was previously thought. And they point to previous research which shows that the toxic effects of caffeine may be reduced in smokers, while caffeine may moderate the harmful effects of the cancer causing agents produced by smoking.



Dr López-Abente, National Epidemiology Centre, Carlos III Health Institute, Madrid, Spain.

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