Mass Torts: State of the Art

Coffee, Tea or Brain Cancer?

Glioblastoma multiforme is an aggressive and invariably fatal primary brain cancer. The cause(s) of glioblastoma is (are) unknown but one factor is strongly and consistently associated with a decreased risk of the cancer. That factor is the consumption of caffeinated tea and coffee; and the association is dose-dependent. Men were reported to have a 41% decrease in risk while women experienced a 26% decrease in "Coffee and Tea Intake and Risk of Brain Tumors in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Cohort Study" just published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Those numbers are consistent with the findings reported in "Coffee, Tea, Caffeine Intake, and Risk of Adult Glioma in Three Prospective Cohort Studies".

What's with all the good news about coffee and tea? It stands in stark contrast to the epidemiology published in the 1970s and early 1980s. Back then the literature was full of reports linking coffee in particular to pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, heart attack and bladder cancer. The difference perhaps is due to the fact that modern studies involve huge cohorts and assessment of exposure (dose) is much more rigorous. Yet what should be made of all the big studies of non-coffee drinking Seventh-Day Adventists and their decreased risk of all manner of maladies? Only that something besides skipping coffee is at work.

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