Objectives: We aimed to examine the relationship between tea consumption and cognitive function in older adults.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: The Singapore Longitudinal Aging Studies (SLAS), a community-based study in urban Singapore.
Participants: 716 Chinese adults aged > or = 55 years.
Measurement: Self-reported current tea consumption habits (frequency and type). Cognitive performance was assessed by a battery of neuropsychological tests; composite domain scores on attention, memory, executive function, and information processing speed were computed using raw test scores. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) total score was used as a measure of global cognitive function.
Results: After adjusting for potential confounders, total tea consumption was independently associated with better performances on global cognition (B=0.055, SE=0.026, p=0.03), memory (B=0.031, SE=0.012, p=0.01), executive function (B=0.032, SE=0.012, p=0.009), and information processing speed (B=0.04, SE=0.014, p=0.001). Both black/oolong tea and green tea consumption were associated with better cognitive performance. There was no association between coffee consumption and cognitive function.
Conclusions: Tea consumption was associated with better cognitive performance in community-living Chinese older adults. The protective effect of tea consumption on cognitive function was not limited to particular type of tea.