A T Nordestgaard et al, 2019. Coffee Intake Protects Against Symptomatic Gallstone Disease in the General Population: a Mendelian Randomization Study, Journal of Internal Medicine, published online.

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ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:
Coffee intake is associated with low risk of symptomatic gallstone disease (GSD). We tested the hypothesis that high coffee intake causally protects against symptomatic GSD using a Mendelian randomization design.

METHODS:
First, we tested whether high coffee intake was associated with low risk of GSD in 104 493 individuals from the general population. Mean follow-up was 8 years (range: <1-13 years). Secondly, we tested whether two genetic variants near CYP1A1/A2 (rs2472297) and AHR (rs4410790), combined as an allele score, were associated with higher coffee intake measured as a continuous variable. Thirdly, we tested whether the allele score was associated with lower risk of GSD in 114 220 individuals including 7294 gallstone events. Mean follow-up was 38 years (range: <1-40 years).

RESULTS:
In observational analysis, those with coffee intake of >6 cups daily had 23% lower risk of GSD compared to individuals without coffee intake [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.77 (95% confidence interval: 0.61-0.94)]. In genetic analysis, there was a stepwise higher coffee intake of up to 41% (caffeine per day) in individuals with 4 (highest) versus 0 (lowest) coffee intake alleles (P for trend = 3 x 10-178 ) and a corresponding stepwise lower risk of GSD up to 19%[HR = 0.81 (0.69-0.96)]. The estimated observational odds ratio for GSD for a one cup per day higher coffee intake was 0.97 (0.96-0.98), equal to 3% lower risk. The corresponding genetic odds ratio was 0.89 (0.83-0.95), equal to 11% lower risk.

CONCLUSION:
High coffee intake is associated observationally with low risk of GSD, and with genetic evidence to support a causal relationship.

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