Research finds that drinking tea regularly is linked to a "longer and healthier life"
Stick on the kettle.
by Paul Moore
Drinking tea at least three times a week is linked with a longer and healthier life, scientists say.
According to new research, habitual consumption of the beloved beverage is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and improved health, as reported in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
In terms of the methodology used for the study, scientists examined 100,902 Chinese adults. The subjects had no history of heart attack, stroke, or cancer. Information on tea consumption was collected through standardized questionnaires.
Participants were categorized into two groups – regular tea drinkers, those drinking three or more times a week, and never or non-habitual tea drinkers – those drinking less than three times a week.
The participants were followed up for an average of 7.3 years. Compared to the people who never or rarely drank tea, habitual tea drinkers had a 20% lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
Compared with non-habitual tea drinkers or people who never drink tea, the hazard ratio and 95% confidence interval among habitual tea drinkers was 0.80 (0.75–0.87), 0.78 (0.69–0.88), and 0.85 (0.79–0.90) for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease incidence.
Habitual tea drinkers had 1.41 years longer of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease-free years and 1.26 years longer of life expectancy at the index age of 50 years.
Essentially, greater levels of tea consumption was linked with reduced risks of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, especially among those consistent habitual tea drinkers.
Researchers also analysed changes in tea drinking behaviour in a subset of 14,081 participants, assessing them an average of 8.2 years after the initial survey and following up an average of 5.3 years after that.
Habitual drinkers who maintained their habit in both surveys had a 39% lower risk of incident heart disease and stroke, 56% lower risk of fatal heart disease and stroke, and 29% decreased risk of all-cause death compared to consistent never or non-habitual tea drinkers, the study suggests.
Dr Xinyan Wang, of the Chinese Academy of Medical Science in Beijing, said: “Habitual tea consumption is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease and all-cause death. The favourable health effects are the most robust for green tea and for long-term habitual tea drinkers.”
Researchers do say, however, that their findings suggest there is a difference in effect from drinking different types of tea. In the case of this study, green tea was the most popular blend.
Of the habitual tea drinkers, 49% drank green tea, 43% preferred scented or other teas, and 8% opted for black tea - he more popular blend in Ireland.
Dongfeng Gu of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, senior author of the paper, has said: "The small proportion of habitual black tea drinkers might make it more difficult to observe robust associations, but our findings hint at a differential effect between tea types."
So, stick the kettle on, eh?