Coffee intake and risk of colorectal cancer among Chinese in Singapore: The Singapore Chinese health study

Sabrina Peterson, Jian Min Yuan, Woon Puay Koh, Can Lan Sun, Renwei Wang, Robert J. Turesky, Mimi C. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We prospectively investigated whether coffee consumption was associated with decreased risk of colorectal cancer and whether cigarette smoking and stage of disease modify the association in the Singapore Chinese Health Study. During the first 12 years of follow-up, 961 colorectal cancer cases occurred in the cohort of over 60,000 middle-aged or older Chinese men and women living in Singapore. Baseline dietary exposures were assessed through in-person interviews using a validated food frequency questionnaire. The relation between coffee consumption and colorectal cancer risk was assessed by proportional hazards (Cox) regression. No overall association between coffee intake and colorectal cancer was observed. However, in analysis by subsite and stage restricted to ever smokers, the coffee-colon cancer association became statistically significant for advanced disease (P for trend = 0.01). The hazard ratio was 0.56 (95% confidence interval = 0.35-0.90) for advanced colon cancer in drinkers of 2 or more cups per day compared with those who drank no coffee or less than 1 cup per day. Although there is a null association between coffee intake and risk of colorectal cancer overall, coffee may protect against smoking related advanced colon cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-29
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Sources of support were R01 CA55069, R35 CA53890, R01 CA80205, and R01 CA98497 from the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland. We thank Siew-Hong Low of the National University of Singapore for supervising the field work of the Singapore Chinese Health Study and Kazuko Arakawa for the development and management of the cohort study database. We also thank the Ministry of Health in Singapore for assistance with the identification of cancer cases via database linkages.


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