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Skin Cancer Found to be More Scarce in Coffee Drinkers

Posted: December 20, 2007

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The researchers considered factors including participants' smoking, drinking, age, BMI (body mass index, which relates height to weight), and whether the women lived in the sunny South or further north when the study started.

After those adjustments, the researchers found that each daily cup of caffeinated coffee was associated with a 5% drop in the women's odds of reporting nonmelanoma skin cancer.

Women who drank six cups of caffeinated coffee per day were 30% less likely than other women to report nonmelanoma skin cancer. Decaffeinated coffee and tea weren't linked to the women's odds of reporting nonmelanoma skin cancer.

Study's limits
Like other observational studies, this one doesn't prove cause and effect. That is, the researchers didn't test coffee to see if it prevents skin cancer.

Abel and colleagues didn't have data on which women wore sunscreen or whether the women drank more or less coffee over the years. Also, the findings only show which women reported nonmelanoma skin cancer at the study's start. So it's not clear who developed nonmelanoma skin cancer later.