Researchers have reported a strong link between drinking coffee and lower risk of death from cancer of the mouth and throat.
A major long-term study shows that men and women who regularly drink caffeinated coffee significantly reduce their likelihood of dying from oral or pharyngeal (throat) cancer. Those who drink more than four cups of coffee a day cut their risk of death from these cancers in half.
Oral and pharyngeal cancers rank among the ten most common forms of cancer in the world. These cancers afflict men twice as often as women. Although mouth or throat cancer is highly treatable if discovered early, most patients do not seek medical attention until the cancer is advanced.
In 1982, the American Cancer Society launched a cancer prevention study of 1,184,418 healthy men and women with an average age of 57 years. Coffee and tea consumption were among the health and dietary behaviors that were recorded and tracked. For the oral and throat cancer study, the researchers reduced the size of the study population to 968,432, excluding from analysis outliers (e.g., those who drank more than 20 cups of coffee per day) and those with missing information. As of December 31, 2008, 868 of these 968,432 study participants had died as a result of mouth or throat cancer.
Study results: daily coffee reduces mouth and throat cancer risk
Among the individuals studied, 67% reported drinking caffeinated coffee, with 60% drinking at least one cup per day and an average among this group of three cups per day. After adjusting for smoking and alcohol use and other demographic, health, and lifestyle factors, the researchers found that the risk of death from mouth or throat cancer was 49% lower for those who drank four to six cups of caffeinated coffe daily, compared with those who drank no caffeinated coffee or drank it only occasionally. Reductions in oral and pharyngeal cancer were also observed among more moderate coffee drinkers.
Coffee drinkers now have another reason to enjoy their favorite beverage.
The full report of this research study, authored by Janet S. Hildebrand and others from the American Cancer Society, Emory University, and New York University Medical Center, is published in the January 2013 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology and is available online.
Coffee Crossroads reports on issues of coffee and health but does not claim to have any medical expertise. This article is not intended as, and should not be construed as, medical or health advice. For such advice, please consult a physician or other health professional.