A little java reduces mortality risk in CRC

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  • For patients with colorectal cancer (CRC), drinking just 2 cups of coffee per day reduces CRC-specific mortality risk by 39%, and drinking 4 cups/day reduces risk by 52%.

Why this matters

  • Although there are some data to suggest a protective effect of coffee against CRC, it was unknown if coffee consumption after diagnosis offered any protection against recurrence or mortality.

Study design

  • 1599 people with stage I-III CRC from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS).
  • Median follow-up 7.8 years.
  • Funding: NIH and others.

Key results

  • 803 deaths during study period, including 188 CRC-related.
  • 52% lower risk of CRC-specific mortality (HR, 0.48; 95% CI: 0.28-0.83) and 30% lower risk of all-cause mortality (HR, 0.70; 95% CI: 0.54-0.91) among patients who drank ≥4 cups/day vs those who didn’t drink any coffee; similar rates for caffeinated and decaffeinated.
  • Drinking ≥2 cups/day associated with a 39% lower risk of CRC-specific mortality (RR, 0.61: 95% CI: 0.40-0.91 for caffeinated and RR, 0.061; 95% CI, 0.38-0.97 for decaffeinated) and a 25% lower all-cause mortality risk for caffeinated (RR, 0.75; 95% CI: 0.62-0.91) and 30% for decaffeinated (RR, 0.70; 95% CI: 0.55-0.87).


  • No data on cancer recurrence and coffee intake.