(HealthDay News) — Increased coffee consumption may reduce hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk across ethnicities, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held from April 5 to 9 in San Diego.

Veronica Wendy Setiawan, Ph.D., from the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues analyzed data from 179,890 African-American, Native Hawaiian, Japanese-American, Latino, and white men and women participating in the Multiethnic Cohort Study (1993 to 1996). Coffee consumption and other dietary and lifestyle factors were self-reported at baseline. Participants were followed for a median of 16.6 years for HCC incidence.

The researchers found that 498 participants developed HCC. There was a reduced risk of HCC associated with high levels of regular coffee consumption (P < 0.0001). Individuals who consumed one to three cups of coffee per day had a 29 percent reduction in risk of HCC (relative risk [RR], 0.71), and those who had four or more cups of coffee per day had a 42 percent reduction in risk of HCC (RR, 0.58), compared to non-drinkers/low consumers (up to six cups per week) of coffee. These results were consistent regardless of the participants’ ethnicity, sex, body mass index, smoking status, alcohol intake, or diabetes status. Coffee consumption was not associated with hepatitis B or C infection status (P = 0.63).

“Daily coffee consumption should be encouraged in individuals who are at high risk for HCC,” Setiawan said in a statement.

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