October 14, 2021

Tea drinking and high blood pressure

Habitual tea drinking is associated with a slightly higher risk of hypertension in middle-aged and older Chinese adults, which warrants confirmation by long-term intervention studies, researchers say.

While drinking tea is reported to have many health benefits, the association of tea consumption and hypertension has been controversial, as large population cohorts are needed to establish findings. 

Danxia Yu, PhD, and colleagues conducted a prospective study of roughly 60,000 individuals to assess the role of habitual tea consumption in hypertension risk and blood pressure changes. 

This study of Chinese men and women from age 40 to their mid-70s excluded people with preexisting hypertension or diseases that might impact the study results, such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Individuals self-reported their tea consumption based on the amount, duration (in years) and type of tea consumed. 

Habitual tea drinkers had a slightly higher risk of hypertension, as well as a weak association with increased blood pressure. These findings, reported in The Journal of Nutrition, provide a nuanced view when considering the beneficial health effects of drinking tea and its role in hypertension.

The study was supported in part by the National Key Research and Development Plan of China, the National Science Fund for Excellent Young Scholars, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and National Institutes of Health grants HL149779, CA182910 (Shanghai Women’s Health Study) and CA173640 (Shanghai Men’s Health Study).