Those who enjoy drinking a cup or two of tea every day should ease up on the temperature if the also smoke and drink alcohol every day. A new study suggests that people who smoke and drink every day but also consume hot tea are likelier to develop esophageal cancer.
The study, published in the journal, Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests that people who smoke or drink more than one alcoholic beverage per day may have a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer in they also drink hot tea. Researchers estimate that one alcoholic beverage translates to 15 grams of alcohol or approximately one 12-ounce beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.
Scientists in China monitored 456,155 people between the ages of 30 to 79 over a nine-year period. During that time, the researchers looked at the participants’ smoking habits, alcohol, and tea consumption. Those who drank tea had to self-report if the tea consumed was room temperature, warm, hot or burning hot.
The people that drank hot or burning hot tea and who also consumed more than one alcoholic beverage per day had a 127 percent increased risk of esophageal cancer. Those who reported drinking hot or burning hot tea and who smoked had a 56 percent increased risk of developing the disease, researchers claim.
People who indulged in all three habits increased their risk of developing esophageal cancer by five times, according to the study.
Researchers did not ask the participants to measure the exact temperature of their daily cup of tea, instead relying on four categories of room temperature, warm, hot or burning hot.
“Our findings show a noticeable increase in esophageal cancer risk associated with a combination of high-temperature tea drinking, excessive alcohol consumption, and tobacco smoking,” notes Canqing Yu, Ph.D., of Peking University Health Science Center in Beijing, China.
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