Calculating the reduction in worldwide deaths from liver cancer if the whole world drank more coffee

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A team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions across Australia has found that if everyone in the world drank at least two cups of coffee every day, the world would see hundreds of thousands fewer deaths from liver cancer.

In their paper published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the group describes calculating their numbers and explains why they believe governments should begin encouraging people to drink more coffee.

Multiple studies over the past several years have shown that drinking coffee can have many health benefits if consumed on a regular basis. One of those benefits that stands out from the others is a reduced risk of developing liver cancer. The researchers with this new effort note that the results of this research suggest that drinking two or three cups of coffee per day can reduce a person’s risk of developing the disease by 38 percent—and their risk of dying from the disease by 46 percent. And when a person ups their consumption to four or more cups per day, the risk reduction is 41 percent and chance of dying is 71 percent less. In this new effort, the researchers wondered what would happen if all the world’s non-coffee drinkers began to consume two or four cups of coffee every day.

To find out, the researchers extracted and studied data in the Global Burden of Disease 2016 dataset, filtering for liver-cancer-related statistics. They found that there were 1,240,201 deaths listed from liver cancer for that year. The researchers then retrieved coffee drinking statistics and added both sets of data into a model that showed connections between coffee drinking and reductions in liver cancer. The model showed that if everyone in the world had been drinking two cups of coffee a day in 2016, there would have been 452,861 fewer deaths from liver cancer. And if everyone had been drinking four cups, there would have been 723,287 fewer deaths. They researchers believe that governments and health agencies should begin promoting coffee consumption as a way to reduce liver cancer rates.

Paper: Paul Gow et al. Estimates of the global reduction in liver disease-related mortality with increased coffee consumption: an analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Dataset, Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (2020). DOI: 10.1111/apt.16020

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The ONA Editor curates oncology news, views and reviews from Australia and around the world for our readers. In aggregated content, original sources will be acknowledged in the article footer.

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