Caffeine consumption may lower BCC risk

July 11, 2012

A new study suggests modest caffeine consumption is associated with a significantly lower relative risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC).

Boston - A new study suggests modest caffeine consumption is associated with a significantly lower relative risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC).

According to the study, people who consumed more than three cups of coffee a month had a 17 percent reduction in the relative risk of BCC versus individuals who drank less than one cup per month, MedPage Today reports. The association pertained to men and women and to sources of caffeine other than coffee.

A research team from Harvard University and from Brigham and Women’s Hospital reviewed data from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS), both of which began in 1976 and in which participants provided information on caffeine intake on several occasions from 1984 to 2006, MedPage Today reports.

Investigators analyzed data for 112,897 participants from the two studies (72,921 women and 39,976 men). During 24 and 22 years of follow-up in the NHS and HPFS, respectively, 22,786 participants developed BCC, 1,953 developed squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and 741 developed melanoma. Investigators stratified the study participants into quintiles of daily caffeine consumption, which range from 31 mg to 604 mg in NHS and 8 mg to 584 mg in the HPFS.

“Given that nearly 1 million new cases (of BCC) are diagnosed each year in the U.S., modification in daily dietary factors with even small protective effects may have great public health impact,” the authors wrote.

The study was published in Cancer Research.

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