Habitual Green Tea Drinkers May Live Longer Interview with:
Xinyan Wang

Department of Epidemiology
Fuwai Hospital, National Center for Cardiovascular Disease
Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences
Beijing,  China What is the background for this study? Does the type of tea matter (green vs black etc.)?

Response: Tea is one of the most popular beverages globally and has attracted great interest from both the public and scientific researchers due to its potential benefits for cardiovascular system and people’s general health as well. However, previous results from population-based studies remained inconsistent.

Thus, we aimed to investigate the association between tea and cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of disease burden, using our unique long-term cohort data with multiple follow-up visits. What are the main findings?

Response: Compared with never or occasionally tea consumption, habitual tea consumption (at least 3 times per week) was associated with 20% lower risk of ASCVD incidence, 22% lower risk of ASCVD mortality and 9% lower risk of all-cause mortality. More colloquially, habitual tea drinkers had 1.41 years longer of ASCVD-free year and 1.26 years longer of life expectancy at the index age of 50 years. The benefits were strengthened among participants who kept the habit for longer period and were most robust among men and green tea consumers.

According to our results, the inverse association between tea consumption and health outcomes were the most robust for green tea, though similar trends were also observed for black tea or other types. Firstly, due to the unique preference for green tea among the Chinese population, the number of habitual black tea consumers was limited in our current study, which might make it more difficult to observe significant results for black tea.

Secondly, green tea is a rich source of flavonoids, especially tea polyphenols, which have been proven to be protective against cardiovascular diseases.

As for black tea, these compounds would be oxidized into pigments and be inactivated during fermentation. Thus green tea would be superior to black tea in terms of cardioprotective effects. What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: For the general public, here are the take home messages:

  • First, habitual tea consumption (≥ 3 times/week) can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, and help you live a longer and healthier life;
  • Second, maintaining the tea consumption habit for long can ensure much stronger benefits;
  • Third, the favourable health effects are the most robust for green tea. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Follow-up of cohorts from our project is still ongoing now and we are expecting more evidence by accumulating more information. First, we will investigate the health benefits of tea drinking on other outcomes, such as cancer. Second, we will be able to further identify the reasons for gender differences on the relationship of tea drinking with CVD. Third, we will refine the health effects of different types and amounts of tea.

The findings of our study call for validation in other populations. Random controlled trials are also needed to further validate the observed association. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: There is a brief introduction of the China-PAR project, on which the study was based.

The project of Prediction for ASCVD Risk in China (China-PAR) is a long-term follow-up study covering 15 provinces in China in order to identify risk factors of cardiovascular diseases in China. Participants aged >18 years of age were enrolled since 1998, and followed-up at least once by 2015, with the longest period of follow-up over 17 years.

None of the authors reported a conflict of interest related to the study.


Tea consumption and the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: The China-PAR project

Xinyan WangFangchao LiuJianxin Li, ..

First Published January 8, 2020 Research Article


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Last Modified: Jan 10, 2020 @ 8:51 pm



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