Tea drinking prevents carotid plagues in women

By David Liu, Ph. D.
Mar 18, 2008

TUESDAY March 18, 2008 (Foodconsumer.org) — A new study published in the Feb 2008 issue of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis & Vascular Biology suggests that women may reduce their risk for carotid plaques by simply drinking a few cups of tea a day.

The study led by Stephanie Debette from Inserm and colleagues from other organizations was meant to establish the relationship between tea consumption and common carotid artery intima-media thickness (CCA-IMT) and carotid plagues.

The researchers looked at the data from 6597 subjects aged 65 or older in the French population for the Three-City study and found women who drank tea had lower risk of carotid plagues.

Carotid plaques were found in 33.7 percent of women who drank three or more cups of tea a day compared to 42.5 percent among those who had one or two cups a day and 44.0 percent among women who did not drink tea.

The study was repeated in 1123 subjects who were younger and a similar association was observed between tea consumption and frequency of carotid plagues.

In the younger population, 8.9 percent among women who drank three or more cups of tea a day were found to have carotid plague compared to 18.8 percent among those who did not drink and 18.5 percent among those who drank one or two cups a day.

The association was independent of age, center, major vascular risk factors, educational level and dietary habits for women who drank three or more cups of tea a day.

However, there was no association between tea consumption and carotid plaques in men and tea drinking had no effect on CCA-IMT in both genders.

The researchers concluded “In a large sample of elderly community subjects we showed for the first time that carotid plaques were less frequent with increasing tea consumption in women.”

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