L Yaghjyan et al, 2018. Interactions of coffee consumption and postmenopausal hormone use in relation to breast cancer risk in UK Biobank, Cancer Causes and Control, published online.

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We investigated the association of coffee consumption with postmenopausal breast cancer risk, overall and by the status of postmenopausal hormone therapy (PMH).

This study included 126,182 postmenopausal women (2,636 with breast cancer and 123,546 without) from UK Biobank. Cancer diagnoses were ascertained through the linkage to the UK National Health Service Central Registers. Information on breast cancer risk factors and coffee consumption was collected at baseline and updated during follow-up. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to evaluate associations between coffee consumption and breast cancer, overall and in stratified analyses by woman’s PMH status (none, past, current).

In the overall analysis, coffee consumption was not associated with breast cancer risk (Hazard Ratio [HR] 1.00, 95% CI 0.91-1.11 for 2-3 cups/day, and HR 0.98, 95% CI 0.87-1.10 for ≥ 4 cups/day, p-trend = 0.69). Women with no PMH history who consumed ≥ 4 cups/day had a 16% reduced risk of breast cancer as compared to women who consumed < 7 cups/week (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.71-1.00). Among women with past PMH, those consuming ≥ 4 cups/day had a 22% greater risk of breast cancer than women consuming < 7 cups/week (HR 1.22, 95% CI 1.01-1.47). No association was found among current PMH users. We found no significant interaction between PMH and coffee consumption (p = 0.24).

Coffee consumption might be associated with increased breast cancer risk in women who used hormones in the past. Further studies are warranted to confirm these findings and elucidate potential biological mechanisms underlying the observed associations.

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