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Coffee & Health
Liver function

The effect of coffee consumption on the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in hepatitis B virus endemic area

Jang E S et al, 2013
Liver International, published online ahead of print
May 9, 2013

Background & Aims:

Coffee consumption is inversely related to the risk of cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the protective effect of coffee drinking against the risk of HCC was not established in HBV-prevalent region. To elucidate the relationship between lifetime coffee consumption and the risk of HCC development under the consideration of replication status of HBV.


A hospital-based case–control study was performed in 1364 subjects. A total of 258 HCC patients, 480 health-check examinees (control 1, HCE) and 626 patients with chronic liver disease other than HCC (control 2, CLD) were interviewed on smoking, alcohol and coffee drinking using a standardized questionnaire. HBV e-antigen (HBeAg) status and serum HBV DNA levels were measured in patients infected with HBV.


After adjustment for age, gender, obesity, DM, presence of hepatitis virus (except for HCE) and lifetime alcohol drinking/smoking, a high lifetime coffee consumption (>20 000 cups) was an independent protective factor against HCC, in each analyses using healthy and risky control groups respectively (HCE group, OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.33–0.95; CLD group, OR 0.55, 95% CI 0.36–0.85). However, the high coffee consumption did not affect the HCC risk in patients with HBV (OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.36–1.14) after adjustment for HBeAg status, serum HBV DNA level and antiviral therapy.


A high lifetime coffee consumption was negatively associated with a
HCC development. However, this difference of coffee exposure with the HCC group was reduced in chronic hepatitis B patients by the dominant role of viral replication.

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