Hot tea raises cancer risk for smokers and drinkers

Hot tea raises cancer risk for smokers and drinkers

Hot tea raises cancer risk for smokers and drinkers

In the new study, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers have found an association between drinking hot tea with up to fivefold increased odds in esophageal cancer but the link is only found in those who smoke or drink alcohol. Compared to only drinking hot tea, drinking hot tea in combination with either smoking or alcohol use was linked to an increased risk for esophageal cancer.

Participants who smoked tobacco and drank very hot tea every day were nearly twice as likely to develop esophageal cancer than smokers who drank tea (at any temperature) less than weekly.

Some like it hot - but let that steaming cup of tea cool off before sipping if you smoke cigarettes or consume more than one alcoholic beverage a day.

"We found that the association between high-temperature tea consumption and esophageal cancer risk was dependent on alcohol and tobacco consumption", said lead author Jun Lv, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Peking University School of Public Health in China, in an email to TIME. In addition, the researchers only had data on tea habits when people first joined the study, which means that the effect of changing tea habits on cancer risk is unknown.

Esophageal cancer kills approximately 400,000 people every year, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, cancer research arm of the World Health Organization.

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Esophageal cancer is among the most widely diagnosed types of cancer in the United States.

Cases were identified from cancer and death registries and self-report during follow-up. It is often caused by repeated injury to the esophagus because of smoke, alcohol, acid reflux, and possibly hot liquids as suggested by the new study. People who only drank hot tea did not see a significant increase in cancer risk.

It is an even more alarming concern for people who smoke and drink alcohol.

Study Rundown: Esophageal cancer is a concern worldwide due to its rising prevalence and poor rates of survival. If you only drink hot tea, don't worry. As an observational study, it can't prove whether one factor causes another.

For example, for those who drank more than 15g of alcohol a week, there were around 1.2 cancers per 1,000 people per year, rising to 1.7 per 1,000 for those who drank burning hot tea. Researchers in China say this is one of the largest studies of its kind. It is better to give up on smoking/drinking.

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