Time for cuppa.

Drinking tea at least three times a week could reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and is linked with a longer and healthier life, a new Chinese study suggests.

Chinese researchers found the health benefits associated with tea were more pronounced for drinkers of green, rather than black tea, and for those who had been drinking tea regularly over a longer period of time.
The benefits were also clearer among men, the study indicated.
Researchers looked at data from 100,902 Chinese people with no history of heart attack, stroke or cancer and divided them into two groups: habitual drinkers who drank tea three or more times a week, those who never drank tea, and those who drank it less regularly.
They were followed-up for a median of 7.3 years, in the study published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology.
And they found that regular tea drinkers had a 20% lower risk of having heart disease and stroke, and a 22% lower risk of dying from heart disease and stroke.

Specifically, they found that regular tea drinkers could expect to live 1.26 years longer at age 50 than those who did not regularly enjoy a cup of tea.

First author 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 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.

Dongfeng Gu of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, 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.”