Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 57–65 | Cite as

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

  • Yau-Chang KuoEmail author
  • Chu-Ling Yu
  • Chen-Yu Liu
  • Su-Fen Wang
  • Pi-Chen Pan
  • Ming-Tsang Wu
  • Chi-Kung Ho
  • Yu-Shing Lo
  • Yi Li
  • David C. Christiani
  • the Kaohsiung Leukemia Research Group
Original Paper



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


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.


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.


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


Asia Catechin Childhood Leukemia Epidemiology Green Tea 



The authors gratefully acknowledge Chien-Chin Chou for questionnaire data verification, Janna Frelich for data management, and Thomas J., Yuhao Chen, and Lia Shimada for technical assistance. The study was funded by National Institutes of Health (ES09723, ES00002). The members of the Kaohsiung Leukemia Research Group were as follows: Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital—Tai-Tsung Chang, Sheng-Fung Lin, Shyh-Shin Chiou, Ren-Chin Jang, Hui-Hua Hsiao, Ta-Chih Liu, and Pei-Chin Lin; Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital—Chih-Cheng Hsiao, Jiunn-Ming Sheen, Ching-Yuan Kuo, Ming-Chung Wang, Cheng-Hua Huang, and Chung-Bin Huang; and Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital—Shyh-Jer Lin, Yu-Ming Sun, Kai-Sheng Hsieh, and Yu-Hsiang Chang; and Shaw Chwan Memorial Hospital—Yuk-Cheung Wong; and E-Da Hospital—Hung-Bo Wu.


National Institutes of Health (ES09723, ES00002).

Conflict of interest

None declared.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yau-Chang Kuo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Chu-Ling Yu
    • 1
  • Chen-Yu Liu
    • 1
  • Su-Fen Wang
    • 5
  • Pi-Chen Pan
    • 6
  • Ming-Tsang Wu
    • 7
  • Chi-Kung Ho
    • 7
  • Yu-Shing Lo
    • 8
  • Yi Li
    • 9
  • David C. Christiani
    • 1
    • 10
    • 11
  • the Kaohsiung Leukemia Research Group
    • 12
  1. 1.Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program, Department of Environmental HealthHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Occupational and Environmental MedicineKaohsiung Veterans General HospitalKaohsiungTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Emergency MedicineKaohsiung Veterans General HospitalKaohsiungTaiwan
  4. 4.Kaohsiung CityTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of GeographyNational Changhua University of EducationChanghua CityTaiwan
  6. 6.Yuh-Ing Junior College of Health Care & ManagementKaohsiungTaiwan
  7. 7.School of Public Health, Kaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  8. 8.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineKaohsiung Veterans General HospitalKaohsiungTaiwan
  9. 9.Department of BiostatisticsHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  10. 10.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  11. 11.Pulmonary and Critical Care Unit, Department of MedicineMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  12. 12.KaohsiungTaiwan

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