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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Lung cancer has been the leading cause of cancer death in women for
the past three decades. Although smoking is the most important risk
factor for lung cancer, not all lung cancer deaths in American women
are attributed to smoking and the role of dietary exposures remain
unclear.In particular, the effect of coffee consumption and tea
consumption on lung cancer risk remains inconclusive. Therefore we
assessed these associations prospectively in 83,777 women between the
ages of 50-79 who did not have a previous history of cancer. Daily
coffee and tea consumption (cups/d) were assessed via a baseline
questionnaire while the 1,038 lung cancer cases included in analysis
were self-reported and verified by outcome assessors. Cox proportional
hazard models, adjusted for important lung cancer risk factors, were
used to model the associations. 71% of women reported drinking coffee
daily while only 26% of participants drank tea. Preliminary results
suggested a significant increase in lung cancer risk for caffeinated
(HR=1.47, 95% CI 1.21-1.79), decaffeinated (HR=1.56, 95% CI 1.17-2.07)
and total coffee (HR= 1.58, 95% CI 1.29-1.93) when comparing those in
the highest consumption categories to non-drinkers, but no significant
results were observed in these consumption groups in an analysis
conducted with only non-smokers. Daily tea consumption was
significantly associated with a reduction of risk (HR= 0.82, 95% CI
0.71-0.96). Our data suggests that there is no association between
coffee consumption and lung cancer risk or tea consumption and lung
cancer risk.


First Advisor

Susan R Sturgeon