Green tea consumption and cause-specific mortality: Results from two prospective cohort studies in China

J Epidemiol. 2017 Jan;27(1):36-41. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2016 Oct 18.


Background: Green tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in Asia. While a possible protective role of green tea against various chronic diseases has been suggested in experimental studies, evidence from human studies remains controversial.

Methods: We conducted this study using data from Shanghai Men's Health Study (SMHS) and Shanghai Women's Health Study (SWHS), two population-based prospective cohorts of middle-aged and elderly Chinese adults in urban Shanghai, China. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality associated with green tea intake were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression models.

Results: During a median follow-up of 8.3 and 14.2 years for men and women, respectively, 6517 (2741 men and 3776 women) deaths were documented. We found that green tea consumption was inversely associated with risk of all-cause mortality (HR 0.95; 95% CI, 0.90-1.01), particularly among never-smokers (HR 0.89; 95% CI, 0.82-0.96). The inverse association with cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality (HR 0.86; 95% CI, 0.77-0.97) was slightly stronger than that with all-cause mortality. No significant association was observed between green tea intake and cancer mortality (HR 1.01; 95% CI, 0.93-1.10).

Conclusions: Green tea consumption may be inversely associated with risk of all-cause and CVD mortality in middle-aged and elderly Chinese adults, especially among never smokers.

Keywords: All-cause mortality; CVD mortality; Cancer mortality; Cohort study; Green tea.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cause of Death*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Tea*
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data


  • Tea