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News Americas

According to the National Coffee Association of U.S.A., the average coffee consumption in the U.S. is 3.1 cups of coffee per capita per day. (Photo courtesy of Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock)
Dec 13, 2012 | News Americas

Four cups of coffee a day may halve risk of death from oral cancer

by Dental Tribune International

ATLANTA, Ga., USA: Researchers have found evidence that coffee intake and oral cancer mortality are closely associated. In a new study, they observed that participants who consumed more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day had a 49 percent reduced risk of death from oral/pharyngeal cancer compared with those who never or only occasionally drank coffee.

As previous epidemiologic studies had suggested that coffee intake is associated with a lower risk of some cancers, researchers from the American Cancer Society investigated the possible effects of tea, and caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee on fatal oral and pharyngeal cancer and found that caffeinated coffee in particular lowered the risk of these cancers. The findings suggest that the beverage prevents growth and progression of the disease, the researchers said.

According to the study, 868 of 968,432 male and female participants, who were cancer free at enrolment, died from oral/pharyngeal cancer over a 26-year period. Those who had an intake of more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day had a significantly reduced risk of death from cancer, while there was only a marginal effect for those who drank more than two cups and those who preferred decaffeinated coffee. No such effect was found in tea drinkers.

"Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world and contains a variety of antioxidants, polyphenols and other biological active compounds that may help to protect against development or progression of cancers," said Janet Hildebrand, lead author of the story and researcher in the society's Epidemiology Research Program.

Data was obtained from the Cancer Prevention Study II, a prospective cohort study of about 1.2 million men and women funded and conducted by the American Cancer Society since 1982 in order to examine the impact of environmental and lifestyle factors on cancer etiology.

According to Hildebrand, cancer of the mouth and the pharynx is among the ten most common cancers in the world. "It may be of considerable interest whether coffee consumption can lead to a better prognosis after oral/pharyngeal cancer diagnosis," she said.

The study was published online on Dec. 9 in the American Journal of Epidemiology ahead of print.

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