Open Access Open Badges Research article

Non-alcoholic beverages and risk of bladder cancer in Uruguay

Eduardo De Stefani1*, Paolo Boffetta2, Hugo Deneo-Pellegrini1, Pelayo Correa3, Alvaro L Ronco4, Paul Brennan2, Gilles Ferro2, Giselle Acosta1 and María Mendilaharsu1

Author Affiliations

1 Grupo de Epidemiología. Departamento de Anatomía Patológica, Hospital de Clínicas, Facultad de Medicina, Montevideo, Uruguay

2 International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France

3 Department of Pathology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

4 Departamento de Epidemiología, Sección de Radiología, Hospital Pereira Rossell, Montevideo, Uruguay

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BMC Cancer 2007, 7:57  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-7-57

Published: 29 March 2007



Bladder cancer is the fourth most frequent malignancy among Uruguayan men. A previous study from Uruguay suggested a high risk of bladder cancer associated with maté drinking. We conducted an additional case-control study in order to further explore the role of non-alcoholic beverages in bladder carcinogenesis.


In the time period 1996–2000, 255 incident cases with transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder and 501 patients treated in the same hospitals and in the same time period were frequency matched on age, sex, and residence. Both cases and controls were face-to-face interviewed on occupation, tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking and intake of maté, coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Statistical analysis was carried out by unconditional multiple logistic regression.


Ever maté drinking was positively associated with bladder cancer (odds ratio [OR] 2.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2–3.9) and the risk increased for increasing duration and amount of maté drinking. Both coffee and tea were strongly associated with bladder cancer risk (OR for coffee drinking 1.6, 95% CI 1.2–2.3; OR for tea drinking 2.3, 95% CI 1.5–3.4). These results were confirmed in a separate analysis of never-smokers.


Our results suggest that drinking of maté, coffee and tea may be risk factors for bladder carcinoma in Uruguay.