A population-based case-control study of lung cancer and green tea consumption among women living in Shanghai, China

Epidemiology. 2001 Nov;12(6):695-700. doi: 10.1097/00001648-200111000-00019.


Epidemiologic evidence regarding the association between the consumption of green tea and lung cancer is limited and inconclusive, although experimental studies have shown consistently that tea preparations and tea polyphenols may inhibit the induction of a variety of cancers, including lung cancer. In this population-based case-control study, we examined the association between past consumption of green tea and the risk of lung cancer. We identified 649 incident cases of primary lung cancer among women diagnosed from February 1992 through January 1994 using the population-based Shanghai Cancer Registry. We randomly selected a control group of 675 women from the Shanghai Residential Registry, frequency-matched to the expected age distribution of the cases. Green tea consumption was ascertained through face-to-face interviews. We estimated adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) using unconditional logistic regression. Among nonsmoking women, consumption of green tea was associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer (OR = 0.65; 95% CI = 0.45-0.93), and the risks decreased with increasing consumption. We found little association, however, among women who smoked (OR = 0.94; 95% CI = 0.40-2.22). The inconsistency in the association between drinking tea and the risk of lung cancer reported in previous studies may in part be due to inadequate control of confounding of active smoking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • China / epidemiology
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Flavonoids*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Phenols*
  • Polymers*
  • Polyphenols
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Tea* / chemistry


  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Polymers
  • Polyphenols
  • Tea