Hot Tea Raises Cancer Risk In Smokers And Drinkers

In individuals who smoke and drink excessive alcohol, drinking hot tea is associated with a five-fold increased risk for esophageal cancer, according to research by Chinese scientists.

AsianScientist (Feb. 15, 2018) – In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, scientists in China have demonstrated that consuming hot tea at high temperatures is associated with an increased risk for esophageal cancer in individuals who also drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes.

Esophageal cancer is increasing in prevalence and has poor survival rates, particularly in less-developed regions and for men. China is among the countries with the highest esophageal cancer incidence.

Tea drinkers, especially Chinese men, are more likely to also smoke and drink alcohol. Tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption, as well as the chemical compounds and adverse thermal effect of hot tea, considerably complicate the association between tea drinking and cancer risk.

In this study, researchers at the National Natural Science Foundation of China and National Key Research and Development Program surveyed participants enrolled in the China Kadoorie Biobank study. They excluded individuals who were previously diagnosed with cancer, or who reduced their tea drinking, alcohol intake, or cigarette smoking, to determine if high-temperature tea drinking was associated with increased risk for esophageal cancer.

The authors followed 456,155 participants aged 30 to 79 for a median duration of 9.2 years and found a synergistic association between hot tea drinking with excessive alcohol consumption or smoking and the risk for esophageal cancer. Participants who drank high-temperature tea, consumed alcohol excessively and smoked had an esophageal cancer risk more than five times greater than those who had none of those three habits. However, in the absence of both excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, daily tea drinking was not associated with esophageal cancer risk.

According to the study authors, these findings suggest that abstaining from hot tea may be beneficial for persons who drink alcohol excessively or smoke.

The article can be found at: Yu et al. (2018) Effect of Hot Tea Consumption and Its Interactions With Alcohol and Tobacco Use on the Risk for Esophageal Cancer: A Population-Based Cohort Study.


Source: American College of Physicians; Photo: Shutterstock.
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