Objectives: Tea has long been hypothesized to possess hypotensive effects. However, there is uncertainty regarding the association of tea consumption with arterial blood pressure (BP). We aimed to examine the association between tea consumption and BP components including systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP).
Design: Community-based, cross-sectional study of Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China.
Setting: Tea consumption has protective influence on BP and presence of hypertension.
Participants: 4579 older adults aged 60 years or older from the Weitang Geriatric Diseases study.
Measurements: Detailed information regarding tea consumption was collected using a pre-designed questionnaire. BP components were measured at least 3 times with a minimum 5-minute interval, by well-trained research nurses.
Methods: Data of 4579 older adults (response rate: 82%) aged 60 years or older from the Weitang Geriatric Diseases study were included in the analysis and we estimated the relationship of tea consumption and BP using linear regression models and the association between tea consumption and risk of hypertension using logistic regression models.
Results: In linear regression models, higher tea consumption frequency was found to be associated with lower systolic BP values, after adjusting for the effect of age, sex, education level, lifestyle-related factors, and cardiometabolic confounding factors in overall (coefficient =-1.49, P=0.0003), normotensive (coefficient =-0.91, P=0.017) and participants without anti-hypertensive treatment (coefficient =-1.26, P=0.027). Significant inverse association between diastolic BP and frequency of tea consumption was also observed in the overall subjects (coefficient =-0.74, P=0.003). In multivariate logistic analyses, habitual tea drinking was inversely associated with presence of hypertension [odds ratio (OR)=0.79, P=0.011] , and there was a progressive reduction in risk associated with higher frequency of tea consumption (P for trend=0.011).
Conclusion: Habitual tea consumption was found to be associated with lower values of components of BP and a reduced likelihood of having hypertension in older adults. Given the widespread consumption of tea throughout China and the world, together with the major cardiovascular disease risk, our findings have important implications for human health.
Keywords: Tea consumption; blood pressure; cardiovascular; older adults; public health.