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Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer worldwide, claiming the lives of nearly 18 million people each year. Health experts estimate that more than 75 percent of all cardiovascular diseases are preventable through healthy lifestyle habits. Findings from a 2020 study suggest that drinking tea is a healthy lifestyle habit that reduces the risk of cardiovascular-related disease and death and all causes of premature death.

Teas – black, green, or white – are among the most popular beverages in the world. Their consumption is linked to a wide range of health benefits, including lower blood pressure, improved blood sugar regulation, and greater weight loss in people with obesity.

The researchers drew on data collected during the China-PAR project, an ongoing study of cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk among three cohorts of adults living in China. They used data from more than 100,000 participants to investigate links between tea consumption and cardiovascular-related disease and death, as well as all causes of premature death. Their analysis accounted for a wide range of demographic and lifestyle habits, including age, sex, family history, education, smoking, and dietary patterns, among others.

They found that roughly one-third of the participants were regular tea drinkers, consuming three or more tea drinks per week. Regular tea drinkers were 22 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 15 percent less likely to die from all causes of premature death. Drinking tea also appeared to extend healthspan – the number of years lived disease-free. Regular tea drinkers lived 1.41 years longer free of cardiovascular disease and had 1.26 years longer life expectancy at the index age of 50 years compared to non-drinkers.

These findings suggest that regular tea consumption reduces the risk of cardiovascular-related disease and death and all causes of premature death. Tea drinking may also extend the number of years a person lives disease-free.

Teas are rich in polyphenols – a broad class of bioactive plant-based compounds that confer beneficial properties to humans. Learn more about polyphenols in our overview article.

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