(CNN)Drinking tea at least three times a week could reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and is linked with a longer and healthier life, at least in China, a new study suggests.
Drinking green tea, rather than black, may help you live longer, new study suggests
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Chinese researchers found the health benefits associated with tea were more pronounced for drinkers of green, rather than black tea, and for those who had been drinking tea regularly over a longer period of time. The benefits were also clearer among men, the study indicated.
Researchers looked at data from 100,902 Chinese people with no history of heart attack, stroke or cancer and divided them into two groups: habitual drinkers who drank tea three or more times a week, those who never drank tea, and those who drank it less regularly. They followed up with them after a seven-year period.
Their analysis found that regular tea drinkers had a 20% lower risk of having heart disease and stroke, and a 22% lower risk of dying from heart disease and stroke. Specifically, they found that regular tea drinkers could expect to live 1.26 years longer at age 50 than those who did not regularly enjoy a cup of tea.
"We found that the protective effects of habitual tea consumption were very pronounced and robust across different outcomes for men, but only modest for women," Dr. Dongfeng Gu from China's National Center for Cardiovascular Disease, Peking Union Medical College and the Chinese Academy of Medical Science said via email.
"One reason might be that the proportion of habitual tea consumers among men was approximately two and a half [times] as high as that among women," Gu said. Some 48% of the men in the study were regular tea drinkers, compared with 20% of women.
Gu said Chinese women were more likely to drink herbal tea made from rosebuds or lotus leaves but this information wasn't included.