Background. Epidemiological studies suggest that tea intake, a major dietary source of flavonoids, may be associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Methods. We prospectively followed 17 228 subjects (mean age, 59.5 years) initially free of CVD and cancer from the College Alumni Health Study. Participants provided baseline self-reports of tea consumption (cups/day) and coronary risk factors. During a median follow-up of 15 years, there were 3372, 2615, and 757 cases of CVD, coronary heart disease (CHD), and stroke, respectively, ascertained from either self-reports or death certificates. Results. Overall, the median level of tea consumption was 1 cup/day. Compared with participants consuming no tea, the multivariate relative risks (RR) of CVD for those drinking <1, 1, 2, 3, and ≥4 cups/day were 0.99, 0.96, 0.95, 0.91, and 0.95, respectively (P, trend = 0.19). The multivariate RR were 0.97, 0.98, 0.93, 0.85, and 0.98 for CHD (P, trend = 0.25), and 1.05, 0.89, 1.00, 1.09, and 0.83 for stroke (P, trend = 0.53). There was no evidence of effect modification. Changes in tea intake were assessed in a subgroup of 7730 men, with those continuing to drink tea having a non-significant 33% reduction in the risk of stroke. Conclusions. Tea intake, likely consumed as black tea, was not strongly associated with a reduced risk of CVD in this population of US college alumni.
ASJC Scopus subject areas