Researchers said Chinese men and women who drank more than three cups of tea a week had a lower risk of heart attack, stroke and other fatal problems.
The findings of their new study was published in the ‘European Journal of Preventive Cardiology’.
After controlling for many health and behavioral characteristics, including education, smoking, alcohol consumption, blood pressure and body mass index (BMI), the researchers in China, found that compared with people who drank fewer than three cups of tea a week, those who drank more had a 20 per cent reduced risk for a cardiovascular incident, a 22 per cent reduced risk for cardiovascular death and a 15 per cent reduced risk for all-cause premature death.
Cardiovascular events refer to any incidents that may cause damage to the heart muscle.
The heart is a busy organ, constantly pumping blood filled with oxygen and nutrients through your arteries, into the heart muscle (myocardium). Any interruption of blood flow will lead to an injury, or infarction.
Writing that cardiovascular disease was the leading cause of premature death worldwide, the authors stated, “Tea consumption could reduce the risk for both cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality as well as all-cause mortality.”
The scientists analysed data from a continuing health study conducted in 15 provinces since 1998. The data from the current study, which is observational, included a wide range of health and behavioural information on 100,109 adults, including self-reports of tea consumption.
The ‘New York Times’ reported that over an average follow-up of seven years, there were 3,683 heart attacks, strokes or other cardiovascular events; 1,477 deaths from cardiovascular disease; and 5,479 deaths from other causes.
The researchers noted that although, the study did not prove cause and effect, and the results may not be generalisable to populations outside China, they affirmed: “Tea, especially green tea, is a source of flavonoids that could reduce oxidative stress, relieve inflammation, increase the efficiency of heart muscle cells and improve the function of the blood vessels.”