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Drinking Coffee Tied to Lower Liver Cancer Risk

Update Date: Apr 11, 2014 01:56 PM EDT

Coffee lovers and addicts have one more thing to add on to a long list of reasons explaining why they cannot get enough of this particular beverage. According to a new study, researchers found that drinking coffee everyday can lead to a reduced risk of liver cancer.

In this study, researchers started interviewing adults about their coffee habits and other lifestyle behaviors in the 1990s. The study included around 180,000 adults from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. The researchers monitored the participants' health for around 18 years. In the follow-up portion of the study, 498 participants had been diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer.

"Now we can add HCC to the list of medical ailments, such as Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke, that may be prevented by coffee intake," study leader V. Wendy Setiawan, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, said according to the Los Angeles Times. "Daily coffee consumption should be encouraged in individuals who are at high risk for HCC."

The researchers found that adults who drank one to three cups of coffee per day had a 29 percent lower risk of developing liver cancer when compared to people who drank six cups or less per week. A 29 percent reduced risk lowers the incidence rate for men from one in 81 to one in 104. For women, the risk falls from one in 196 to one in 253. People who drank more than four cups of coffee per day had a 42 percent lower risk of developing liver cancer. When calculating these risks, the researchers had accounted for factors such as age, obesity, smoking, drinking, sex and diabetes.

"This is a really well-done study," said Susan Gapstur, vice president of epidemiology for the American Cancer Society reported by Philly. "It adds to the growing body of evidence that coffee might be associated with a lower risk for a number of cancers."

The study, "Coffee intake reduces hepatocellular carcinoma risk: The Multiethnic Cohort," was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Researchers in San Diego, CA.

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