Youjin Je et al. from the Harvard School of Public Health, Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School collaborated on the current study.
The researchers said that, in previous research, coffee had been reported to lower levels of estrogen and insulin, two hormones implicated in endometrial carcinogenesis.
However, they that added prospective data on the relation between coffee consumption and the risk of this cancer had been limited.
The team assessed the correlation in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) with 67,470 participants aged 34-59 in 1980, with cumulative average coffee intake measured with questionnaires to assess long-term effects.
Fewer than four cups of coffee per day were not associated with decreased endometrial cancer risk.
But the researchers found that women who consumed four or more cups had a 25 per cent lower cancer risk, compared with those who consumed less than one cup a day.
A similar association was found with caffeinated coffee consumption, but the team found a “suggestive inverse association” amongst women drinking two or more cups of decaffeinated coffee a day.
The scientists wrote: “Drinking of coffee, given its widespread consumption, might be an additional strategy to reduce endometrial cancer risk. However, addition of substantial sugar and cream to coffee could offset any potential benefits.”
Title: ‘A Prospective Cohort Study of Coffee Consumption and Risk of Endometrial Cancer over a 26-Year Follow-Up’
Authors: Y.Je, S.E. Hankinson, S.S.Tworoger, I. DeVivo, E. Giovannucci.
Source: Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, published online ahead of print (November 22, 2011) doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-11-0766