Drinking coffee may reduce risk of aggressive PCa

June 2, 2011

Men who regularly drink coffee appear to have a lower risk of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer, according to a recent multicenter study.

Men who regularly drink coffee appear to have a lower risk of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer, according to a recent multicenter study.

The study’s authors also found that the lower risk was evident among men who drank either regular or decaffeinated coffee.

"Few studies 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, PhD, of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston.

The study examined the association between coffee consumption and the risk of aggressive prostate cancer among 47,911 U.S. men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who reported their coffee consumption every 4 years from 1986 to 2008. During the study period, 5,035 cases of prostate cancer were reported, including 642 fatal or metastatic cases.

Findings included the following:

  • Men who consumed the most coffee (six or more cups daily) had nearly a 20% lower risk of developing any form of 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.
  • Coffee 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.

Results from the study were published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (May 17, 2011).