Public Health Nutrition

Short Communication

No association between coffee, tea or caffeine consumption and breast cancer risk in a prospective cohort study

Guy Fagherazzia1a2, Marina S Touillauda1a2, Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruaulta1a2, Françoise Clavel-Chapelona1a2 c1 and Isabelle Romieua3

a1 INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale), Center for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP), U1018, Institut de cancérologie Gustave-Roussy, 114 rue Edouard Vaillant, F-94805 Villejuif, France

a2 Paris-South University, UMRS 1018, Villejuif, France

a3 National Institute of Public Health, Mexico, DF, Mexico


Objective Numerous mechanisms for the effects of coffee, tea and caffeine on the risk of breast cancer have been suggested. Caffeine intake has already been associated with high plasma levels of female hormones, but associations have not been clearly demonstrated in epidemiological studies.

Design We examined prospectively the association of coffee, tea and caffeine consumption with breast cancer risk in a French cohort study.

Setting Dietary information was obtained from a 208-item diet history questionnaire self-administered in 1993–1995. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate hazards ratios and 95 % confidence intervals.

Subjects The study was conducted on 67 703 women with available dietary information. During a median follow-up of 11 years, 2868 breast cancer cases were diagnosed.

Results Median intake was 280 ml/d (2·2 cups/d) for coffee and 214 ml/d (1·7 cups/d) for tea. Median caffeine intake was 164 mg/d. No association was found between consumption of coffee, tea or caffeine and breast cancer risk. Sub-analyses by tumour receptor status, menopausal status, type of coffee (regular or decaffeinated) and meals at which beverages were drunk led to the same conclusion.

Conclusions Results from this prospective study showed no relationship between coffee, tea or caffeine intake and breast cancer risk overall or by hormone receptor status.

(Received July 20 2010)

(Accepted January 24 2011)

(Online publication April 05 2011)


c1 Corresponding author: Email