Clinical Research Papers:

Independent and joint effects of tea and milk consumption on oral cancer among non-smokers and non-drinkers: a case-control study in China

Fa Chen, Lingjun Yan, Lisong Lin, Fengqiong Liu, Yu Qiu, Fangping Liu, Jiangfeng Huang, Junfeng Wu, Lin Cai, Guoxi Cai, Kiyoshi Aoyagi and Baochang He _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:50091-50097. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15096

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Fa Chen1,2,*, Lingjun Yan1,2,*, Lisong Lin3,*, Fengqiong Liu1,2, Yu Qiu3, Fangping Liu1,2, Jiangfeng Huang1,2, Junfeng Wu1,2, Lin Cai1, Guoxi Cai4, Kiyoshi Aoyagi5 and Baochang He1,2

1 Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Fujian Medical University, Fujian, China

2 Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for Gastrointestinal Cancer, Fujian Medical University, Fujian, China

3 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fujian, China

4 Nagasaki Prefectural Institute of Environmental Research and Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan

5 Department of Public Health, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan

* These authors have contributed equally to the work

Correspondence to:

Baochang He, email:

Keywords: oral cancer, tea, milk, non-smoker, non-drinker

Received: December 15, 2016 Accepted: January 24, 2017 Published: February 04, 2017


This study aims to evaluate the independent and joint effects of tea and milk consumption on oral cancer risk among non-smokers and non-drinkers (NS/ND). A hospital-based case-control study was performed in Fujian, China. 421 cases and frequency-matched 1398 controls were included without tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking habits. Unconditional logistic regression model was used to assess the relationship of tea and milk consumption with oral cancer risk. Tea and milk consumption were significantly associated with decreased risk of oral cancer, the adjusted odds ratios (aORs) were 0.73 (95% CI: 0.54-0.97) and 0.69 (95% CI: 0.55-0.88), respectively. According to subgroup analysis, the inverse associations between tea consumption and oral cancer risk were only observed among the elders (>60 years) and urban residents. While the protect effect of milk drinking was more obvious in males, normal body mass index population (18.5–23.9), urban residents and those age ≤ 60 years. Additionally, a significantly multiplicative interaction between tea and milk consumption was observed for oral cancer risk (P = 0.001). The present study is the first to simultaneously assess the association of tea consumption and milk drinking with oral cancer risk. The results suggest that tea and milk consumption are independent protective factors for oral cancer among NS/ND, with a joint effect between them.

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