A meta-analysis of coffee consumption and pancreatic cancer

F Turati et al, (2011)
July 13, 2011


Since when in 1981 a case–control study showed a positive association between coffee and pancreatic cancer, several studies reported inconsistent results on this issue.

Materials and methods:

We conducted a systematic bibliography search updated March 2011 to identify observational studies providing quantitative estimates for pancreatic cancer risk in relation to coffee consumption. We used a meta-analytic approach to estimate overall relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for the highest versus the lowest coffee consumption categories, using random-effects models.


Based on 37 case–control and 17 cohort studies (10 594 cases), the pooled RR for the highest versus lowest intake was 1.13 (95% CI 0.99–1.29). Considering only the smoking-adjusting studies, the pooled RRs were 1.10 (95% CI 0.92–1.31) for the 22 case–control, 1.04 (95% CI 0.80–1.36) for the 15 cohort, and 1.08 (95% CI 0.94–1.25) for all studies. The pooled RR for the increment of one cup of coffee per day was 1.03 (95% CI 0.99–1.06) for the 28 smoking-adjusting studies reporting three or more coffee consumption categories. No significant heterogeneity was observed across strata of study design, sex, geographic region, and other selected characteristics.


This meta-analysis provides quantitative evidence that coffee consumption is not appreciably related to pancreatic cancer risk, even at high intakes.


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