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28-07-2010 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Tea drinking could prevent coronary artery calcification


Free abstract

MedWire News: Drinking tea may help prevent the development and progression of coronary artery calcification (CAC), researchers report.

However, they found no substantial association between coffee or caffeine intake and coronary and carotid atherosclerosis.

The findings come from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, which examined the determinants and development of cardiovascular disease over time in 5115 young adults from the USA who were aged 18 to 30 years in 1985 and 1986.

Clinical measurements, dietary information, computed tomography, carotid ultrasonography and questionnaire responses were collected at baseline and 2, 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years later.

Average consumption of coffee, decaffeinated coffee, or caffeine during the first 7 years of follow-up was not associated with CAC, defined by an Agatston score of more than 0 at year 15 or 20, after adjusting for multiple variables.

Similarly, it was not associated with the progression of CAC, identified as incident CAC at year 20, or an increase in CAC score of at least 20 Agatston units, or high carotid intima-media thickness, defined as being above the 80th percentile at year 20.

However, tea consumption showed a nonsignificant inverse association with CAC and a significant inverse association with CAC progression, albeit with no association for high carotid intima-media thickness.

Analyzing the coffee data by gender, race, or smoking status revealed similar nonsignificant patterns, report Jared Reis (National Heart, Lung, and blood Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA) and colleagues in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

They conclude: "Our findings suggest that tea consumption may prevent the development and progression of coronary calcification, whereas coffee and caffeine intake at the levels reported in the current study do not appear to be beneficial or harmful."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Anita Wilkinson