Drinking hot tea increases risk of esophageal cancer for smokers and drinkers

Hot tea can increases your risk of esophageal cancer: Study

Researchers for the National Natural Science Foundation of China and National Key Research and Development Program surveyed participants enrolled in the China Kadoorie Biobank (CKB) study, excluding those previously diagnosed with cancer or who reduced their tea drinking, alcohol intake, or cigarette smoking, to determine if high-temperature tea drinking was associated with increased risk for esophageal cancer.

Very hot tea has been linked with a deadly cancer for some people.

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Over 456,000 participants between the ages of 30 and 79 took part in the study, at the start of which they had to fill out a questionnaire on their tea-making and drinking habits, including what temperature they drank it - room temperature, warm, hot, or burning hot. Those who reported drinking hot or burning hot tea daily and who also drank more than one alcoholic beverage every day had a 127 percent increased risk of esophageal cancer.

So tea drinkers who don't smoke or drink alcohol excessively probably don't need to switch to a different beverage anytime soon, according to Lv.

However, for people who drink too much alcohol or smoke tobacco, avoiding very hot tea might be beneficial for preventing oesophageal cancer, according to the study.

Experts in Britain, a country where tea consumption is traditionally high, have shown that in the West in general people usually drink their tea at lower temperatures than in Asia, resulting in less damage to their esophagus.

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Observational studies like this can show links between factors - such as tea drinking and cancer - but can't prove that one causes another, as it's not possible to account for all the potential alternative explanations for the link. During a follow-up period with a median 9.2 years, 1 731 incidences of esophageal cancer were recorded.

The authors found that in combination with excessive use of alcohol or tobacco, high-temperature tea drinking was linked to a higher risk for esophageal cancer. 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.

"It's important to abstain from high-temperature tea in excessive alcohol consumers and smokers for esophageal cancer prevention", Lv said.

Study Rundown: Esophageal cancer is a concern worldwide due to its rising prevalence and poor rates of survival.

The study was only observational, so a cause-and-effect link can not be determined. Researchers in China say this is one of the largest studies of its kind.

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