Original Paper

Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 57-65

A population-based, case–control study of green tea consumption and leukemia risk in southwestern Taiwan

  • Yau-Chang KuoAffiliated withEnvironmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public HealthDepartment of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General HospitalDepartment of Emergency Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital Email author 
  • , Chu-Ling YuAffiliated withEnvironmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health
  • , Chen-Yu LiuAffiliated withEnvironmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health
  • , Su-Fen WangAffiliated withDepartment of Geography, National Changhua University of Education
  • , Pi-Chen PanAffiliated withYuh-Ing Junior College of Health Care & Management
  • , Ming-Tsang WuAffiliated withSchool of Public Health, Kaohsiung Medical University
  • , Chi-Kung HoAffiliated withSchool of Public Health, Kaohsiung Medical University
  • , Yu-Shing LoAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital
  • , Yi LiAffiliated withDepartment of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health
    • , David C. ChristianiAffiliated withEnvironmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public HealthDepartment of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public HealthPulmonary and Critical Care Unit, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
    • , the Kaohsiung Leukemia Research GroupAffiliated withEnvironmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health

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Abstract

Objective

This study investigated the association between green tea consumption and leukemia.

Methods

A total of 252 cases (90.3% response) and 637 controls (53.4% response) were enrolled. Controls were matched for cases on age and gender. Information was collected on participants’ living habits, including tea consumption. Green tea was used as a standard to estimate the total amount of individual catechin consumption. We stratified individual consumption of catechins into four levels. Conditional logistic regression models were fit to subjects aged 0–15 and 16–29 years to evaluate separate associations between leukemia and catechin consumption.

Results

A significant inverse association between green tea consumption and leukemia risk was found in individuals aged 16–29 years, whereas no significant association was found in the younger age groups. For the older group with higher amounts of tea consumption (>550 units of catechins), the adjusted odds ratio (OR) compared with the group without tea consumption was 0.47 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.23–0.97]. After we adjusted for smoking status and medical irradiation exposure, the overall OR for all participants was 0.49 (95% CI = 0.27–0.91), indicating an inverse relation between large amounts of catechins and leukemia.

Conclusion

Drinking sufficient amounts of tea, especially green tea, which contains more catechins than oolong tea and black tea, may reduce the risk of leukemia.

Keywords

Asia Catechin Childhood Leukemia Epidemiology Green Tea