Coffee could have a protective effect against endometrial cancer

  • An epidemiological study co-led by IDIBELL, the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), and Harvard University (Boston, USA) observed that coffee consumption could have a protective effect against the risk of suffering endometrial cancer.
  • The study, the largest until now, was carried out by combining data from almost 40,000 women from around the world.
NP26 - M Crous_café - Imatge noti

An epidemiological study led by Marta Crous-Bou, a researcher from Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), and the University of Harvard has evaluated the association between coffee consumption and the risk of endometrial cancer, the most frequent gynecological tumor in women in developed countries after breast, colon or lung cancer.

The study, carried out by combining data from women around the world included in the ‘E2C2, Epidemiology of Endometrial Cancer Consortium’ consortium, observed that coffee consumption has a protective effect against endometrial cancer. This finding could have an impact since coffee is the most consumed drink after water and could benefit global public health.


How was this study arried out?

To carry out this study, the largest until now, it was combined data of more than 40,000 women, some with endometrial cancer (about 12,000) and the rest free of the disease. In addition, some specific risk factors for the disease were considered, such as obesity, the risk of diabetes, tobacco use, or menopause age, among others.

Those women who drank coffee had approximately 10% less risk of suffering from endometrial cancer. In addition, this decrease was even more significant with women who were overweight or obese, which is the principal risk factor for suffering from this disease, and in which the beneficial effect of coffee and its compounds is more evident.

Although previous studies suggested this association, it had never been explored in a such a large cohort, and considering so many risk factors. “The biological mechanisms behind this association are unknown, but we think that certain coffee components such as polyphenols or other antioxidants could play a role. These could reduce the levels of estrogen or insulin, two hormones clearly involved in the origin of this tumor,” says IDIBELL and the Catalan Institute of Oncology researcher and first author of the study, Marta Crous-Bou.

And she adds: “These results open the door to clinical trials with supplements containing these compounds and trials in specific groups of patients with a greater risk of suffering from the disease to observe their evolution. Confirming the beneficial effect of coffee compounds could have an important impact on public health since it is a widely consumed drink“.



The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).

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