Tea Drinking and Its Association with Active Tuberculosis Incidence among Middle-Aged and Elderly Adults: The Singapore Chinese Health Study.
Nutrients. 2017 May 25 ;9(6). Epub 2017 May 25. PMID: 28587081
Avril Zixin Soh
Experimental studies showed that tea polyphenols may inhibit growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, no prospective epidemiologic study has investigated tea drinking and the risk of active tuberculosis. We investigated this association in the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a prospective population-based cohort of 63,257 Chinese aged 45-74 years recruited between 1993 and 1998 in Singapore. Information on habitual drinking of tea (including black and green tea) and coffee was collected via structured questionnaires. Incident cases of active tuberculosis were identified via linkage with the nationwide tuberculosis registry up to 31 December 2014. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate the relation of tea and coffee consumption with tuberculosis risk. Over a mean 16.8 years of follow-up, we identified 1249 incident cases of active tuberculosis. Drinking either black or green tea was associated with a dose-dependent reduction in tuberculosis risk. Compared to non-drinkers, the hazard ratio (HR) (95% confidence interval (CI)) was 1.01 (0.85-1.21) in monthly tea drinkers, 0.84 (0.73-0.98) in weekly drinkers, and 0.82 (0.71-0.96) in daily drinkers (p for trend = 0.003). Coffee or caffeine intake was not significantly associated with tuberculosis risk. In conclusion, regular tea drinking was associated with a reduced risk of active tuberculosis.