Tea consumption is associated with cognitive impairment in older Chinese adults

Aging Ment Health. 2018 Sep;22(9):1232-1238. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2017.1339779. Epub 2017 Jun 21.


Objective: To explore the association between tea consumption and cognitive impairment (CoI).

Methods: 4579 adults (≥60 years) from the Weitang Geratric Diseases Study were assessed for characteristics of tea consumption and cognitive function by administering questionnaires and the Abbreviated Mental Test (AMT), respectively. We divided the subjects into normal cognitive function group (AMT score ≥8) and CoI group (AMT score ≤7). The association between tea consumption and risk of CoI was determined by logistic regression models.

Results: The least-squared means of the AMT scores for the subjects who seldom consumed tea were less favorable than those who habitually consumed tea. An inverse association was found between tea consumption (of any type) and prevalence of CoI (odds ratio = 0.74, 95% confidence interval = 0.57-0.98, P = 0.032). Interestingly, the protective correlation of tea was more obvious in never smokers (odds ratio = 0.63), but vanished in current/former smokers (odds ratio = 1.10). In never smokers, frequency of tea consumption was significantly associated with CoI (P for trend = 0.010).

Conclusion: Habitual tea consumption is suggested to be associated with a decreased risk of CoI among elders in Suzhou, and a higher frequency of tea consumption was associated with a lower prevalence of CoI among never smokers.

Keywords: Cognitive impairment; logistic regression; older adults; tea consumption.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / epidemiology*
  • Drinking Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Tea*


  • Tea