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Could drinking coffee reduce melanoma risk?

People who consumed at least four cups of coffee per day had a lower risk of malignant melanoma, according to a recent study.

Researchers from the US National Cancer Institute assessed the coffee intake amongst 447,357 non-Hispanic white participants during a 10 year period. Of the group there were 402,783 coffee drinkers identified, with non-coffee drinkers used as a reference group in measuring subsequent melanoma risk.

Amongst the subjects who were cancer-free at the start of the study, 2904 incident cases of malignant melanoma were identified over the subsequent 10 years.

The researchers concluded that, compared with non-coffee drinkers, those who drank over 4 coffees a day had a 20% lower risk of malignant melanoma.

Coffee contains numerous bioactive compounds and may be associated with a reduction in melanoma.

Full details of the study can be found in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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