J-S Ong et al 2017. Assessment of moderate coffee consumption and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer: a Mendelian randomization study, International Journal of Epidemiology, published online.

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Coffee consumption has been shown to be associated with various health outcomes in observational studies. However, evidence for its association with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is inconsistent and it is unclear whether these associations are causal.

We used single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with (i) coffee and (ii) caffeine consumption to perform Mendelian randomization (MR) on EOC risk. We conducted a two-sample MR using genetic data on 44 062 individuals of European ancestry from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC), and combined instrumental variable estimates using a Wald-type ratio estimator.

For all EOC cases, the causal odds ratio (COR) for genetically predicted consumption of one additional cup of coffee per day was 0.92 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.79, 1.06]. The COR was 0.90 (95% CI: 0.73, 1.10) for high-grade serous EOC. The COR for genetically predicted consumption of an additional 80 mg caffeine was 1.01 (95% CI: 0.92, 1.11) for all EOC cases and 0.90 (95% CI: 0.73, 1.10) for high-grade serous cases.

We found no evidence indicative of a strong association between EOC risk and genetically predicted coffee or caffeine levels. However, our estimates were not statistically inconsistent with earlier observational studies and we were unable to rule out small protective associations

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