Plasma tea catechins and risk of cardiovascular disease in middle-aged Japanese subjects: The JPHC study

Atherosclerosis. 2018 Oct:277:90-97. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2018.08.001. Epub 2018 Aug 17.


Background and aims: Although a potential benefit of drinking green tea has been suggested to reduce the development of cardiovascular disease, no study has investigated the relationship between plasma tea catechin and risk of cardiovascular disease.

Methods: A prospective, nested case-control study was conducted to examine the association between plasma tea catechin and risk of stroke and coronary heart disease (CHD) in a cohort of 29,876 men and women aged 40-69 years without history of heart disease, stroke or cancer. Participants completed a survey and donated blood samples between 1990 and 1994, and were followed-up through 2008. A total of 1132 stroke cases and 209 CHD cases, matched 1:1 to controls (n = 1132) for stroke and 1:2 to controls (n = 418) for CHD, were included in the analysis.

Results: We found no significant association between plasma tea catechin and the incidence of stroke or CHD in either men or women. However, we found that high plasma levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) were associated with reduced risk of stroke in non-smoking men; the adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) for the highest vs. non-detectable levels was 0.53 (0.29-0.98). The respective OR in male smokers was 1.23 (0.75-2.16). A significant interaction by smoking status was found for the highest vs. non-detected plasma EGCG in relation to stroke (p-for-interaction: p = 0.09).

Conclusions: Plasma tea catechin was not associated with reduced risks of either stroke or CHD, while a protective effect of certain tea catechin on stroke risk is suggested for male non-smokers.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Catechin / administration & dosage
  • Catechin / blood*
  • Coronary Disease / blood
  • Coronary Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology*
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Non-Smokers
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Stroke / blood
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Stroke / prevention & control
  • Tea*
  • Time Factors


  • Tea
  • Catechin