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Prostate cancer risk from tea?

20th June 2012

Researchers in Scotland have warned that men who drink more than seven cups of tea a day have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

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Prostate cancer is the most prevalent male cancer in Scotland and cases went up by 7.4% between 2000-2010. 

The team of researchers, from Glasgow University, looked at the health of 6,016 men aged between 21 and 75 as part of the Midspan Collaborative study, which took place over a 37-year period.

They discovered the men who drank the most tea - more than seven cups every day - increased their risk of developing prostate cancer by 50%, compared to those men who did not drink tea or drank less of it.

The participants in the study filled in a questionnaire which asked how much tea, coffee and alcohol they drank, along with their smoking habits and questions about their general health.

They found around a quarter of the men drank tea heavily and 6.4% developed prostate cancer over the course of the study.

Dr Kashif Shafique of Glasgow University's Institute of Health and Wellbeing said: "Most previous research has shown either no relationship with prostate cancer for black tea or some preventive effect of green tea."

"We don't know whether tea itself is a risk factor or if tea drinkers are generally healthier and live to an older age when prostate cancer is more common anyway."

"We found that heavy tea drinkers were more likely not to be overweight, be non alcohol-drinkers and have healthy cholesterol levels. However, we did adjust for these differences in our analysis and still found that men who drank the most tea were at greater risk of prostate cancer." 

 

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