Coffee and tea drinking in relation to the risk of differentiated thyroid carcinoma: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Coffee and tea constituents have shown several anti-carcinogenic activities in cellular and animal studies, including against thyroid cancer (TC). However, epidemiological evidence is still limited and inconsistent. Therefore, we aimed to investigate this association in a large prospective study. Methods: The study was conducted in the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) cohort, which included 476,108 adult men and women. Coffee and tea intakes were assessed through validated country-specific dietary questionnaires. Results: During a mean follow-up of 14 years, 748 first incident differentiated TC cases (including 601 papillary and 109 follicular TC) were identified. Coffee consumption (per 100 mL/day) was not associated either with total differentiated TC risk (HRcalibrated 1.00, 95% CI 0.97–1.04) or with the risk of TC subtypes. Tea consumption (per 100 mL/day) was not associated with the risk of total differentiated TC (HRcalibrated 0.98, 95% CI 0.95–1.02) and papillary tumor (HRcalibrated 0.99, 95% CI 0.95–1.03), whereas an inverse association was found with follicular tumor risk (HRcalibrated 0.90, 95% CI 0.81–0.99), but this association was based on a sub-analysis with a small number of cancer cases. Conclusions: In this large prospective study, coffee and tea consumptions were not associated with TC risk.


  • Raul Zamora-Ros
  • Muath A. Alghamdi
  • Valerie Cayssials
  • Silvia Franceschi
  • Joakim Hennings
  • Maria Sandström
  • Konstantinos K. Tsilidis
  • Elisabete Weiderpass
  • Marie Christine Boutron-Ruault
  • Bodil Hammer Bech
  • Kim Overvad
  • Anne Tjønneland
  • Kristina E.N. Petersen
  • Francesca Romana Mancini
  • Yahya Mahamat-Saleh
  • Fabrice Bonnet
  • Tilman Kühn
  • Renée T. Fortner
  • Heiner Boeing
  • Antonia Trichopoulou
  • Christina Bamia
  • Georgia Martimianaki
  • Giovanna Masala
  • Sara Grioni
  • Salvatore Panico
  • Rosario Tumino
  • Francesca Fasanelli
  • Guri Skeie
  • Tonje Braaten
  • Cristina Lasheras
  • Elena Salamanca-Fernández
  • Pilar Amiano
  • Maria Dolores Chirlaque
  • Aurelio Barricarte
  • H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita
  • Petra H. Peeters
  • Kay Thee Khaw
  • Nicholas J. Wareham
  • Julie A. Schmidt
  • Dagfinn Aune
  • Graham Byrnes
  • Augustin Scalbert
  • Antonio Agudo
  • Sabina Rinaldi
External organisations
  • Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
  • Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University
  • CRO (Centro di Riferimento Oncologico) Aviano National Cancer Institute
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Umeå University
  • University of Ioannina
  • Imperial College London
  • UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø
  • Cancer Registry of Norway, Institute of Population-Based Cancer Research
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Folkhälsan Research Center
  • University of Paris-Sud
  • Institut Gustave Roussy
  • Aarhus University
  • Danish Cancer Society Research Center
  • University of Rennes I
  • German Cancer Research Centre
  • German Institute of Human Nutrition
  • Hellenic Health Foundation, Athens
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Cancer Research and Prevention Institute (ISPO)
  • Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori
  • University of Naples Federico II
  • Civic and M.P Arezzo Hospital
  • Citta' della Salute e della Scienza Hospital-University of Turin
  • University of Oviedo
  • University of Granada
  • CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP)
  • Public Health Division of Gipuzkoa
  • Murcia Regional Health Council
  • University of Murcia
  • Health Research Institute of Navarra (IDISNA)
  • National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
  • University Medical Center Utrecht
  • University of Malaya
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Oxford
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organization
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • Coffee, Cohort, EPIC, Intake, Tea, Thyroid cancer
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3303-3312
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number8
Early online date2018 Dec 10
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec
Publication categoryResearch