Epidemiologic studies have reported inconsistent results regarding coffee consumption and the risk of liver cancer. We performed a meta-analysis of published case–control and cohort studies to investigate the association between coffee consumption and liver cancer.
We searched Medline, EMBASE, ISI Web of Science and the Cochrane library for studies published up to May 2012. We performed a meta-analysis of nine case–control studies and seven cohort studies.
The summary odds ratio (OR) for high vs no/almost never drinkers was 0.50 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.42–0.59), with no significant heterogeneity across studies (Q = 16.71; P = 0.337; I2 = 10.2%). The ORs were 0.50 (95% CI: 0.40–0.63) for case–control studies and 0.48 (95% CI: 0.38–0.62) for cohort studies. The OR was 0.38 (95% CI: 0.25– 0.56) in males and 0.60 (95% CI: 0.33–1.10) in females. The OR was 0.45 (95% CI: 0.36– 0.56) in Asian studies and 0.57 (95% CI: 0.44–0.75) in European studies. The OR was 0.39 (95% CI: 0.28–0.54) with no adjustment for a history of liver disease and 0.54 (95% CI: 0.46–0.66) after adjustment for a history of liver disease.
The results of this meta-analysis suggested an inverse association between coffee consumption and liver cancer. Because of the small number of studies, further prospective studies are needed.