Skip to main content
Log in

A prospective study of green tea consumption and cancer incidence, Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Japan)

  • Published:
Cancer Causes & Control Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Objectives: Laboratory and animal studies have shown a protective effect of green tea on cancer of different sites, but epidemiological evidence is limited and inconclusive. This prospective study in Japan examined the association between green tea consumption and cancer incidence.

Methods: Subjects were 38,540 people (14,873 men, mean age 52.8 years; 23,667 women, mean age 56.8 years) who responded to a mail survey carried out between 1979 and 1981. A self-administered questionnaire ascertained consumption frequency of green tea using precoded answers (never, once per day, twice to four times per day, and five or more times per day). Follow-up continued until 31 December 1994. The study analyzed solid cancers (n = 3881); hematopoietic cancers (188); cancers of all sites combined (4069); and cancer of specific sites with more than 100 cases, i.e. stomach (901), colon (432), rectum (193), liver (418), gallbladder (122), pancreas (122), lung (436), breast (281), and bladder (122). Poisson regression was used to allow for city, gender, age, radiation exposure, smoking status, alcohol drinking, body-mass index, education level, and calendar time.

Results: Green tea consumption was virtually unrelated to incidence of cancers under study. The relative risks of all cancers for those consuming green tea twice to four times per day and five or more times per day were 1.0 (95% confidence interval 0.91–1.1) and 0.98 (0.88–1.1), respectively, as compared with those consuming green tea once per day or less.

Conclusion: Our findings do not provide evidence that regular green tea consumption is related to reduced cancer risks.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  1. Bushman JL (1998) Green tea and cancer in humans: a review of the literature. Nutr Cancer 31: 151–159.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Kuroda Y, Hara Y (1999) Antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic activity of tea polyphenols. Mutat Res 436: 69–97.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Ahmad N, Mukhtar H (1999) Green tea polyphenols and cancer: biologic mechanisms and practical implications. Nutr Rev 57: 78–83.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Fujiki H, Suganuma M, Okabe S, et al. (1996) Japanese green tea as a cancer preventive in humans. Nutr Rev 54: S67–S70.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Cao Y, Cao R (1999) Angiogenesis inhibited by drinking tea. Nature 398: 381.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Tajima K, Tominaga S (1985) Dietary habits and gastro-intestinal cancers: a comparative case-control study of stomach and large intestinal cancers. Jpn J Cancer Res 76: 705–716.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Kono S, Ikeda M, Tokudome S, Kuratsune M (1988) A case-control study of gastric cancer and diet in northern Kyushu, Japan. Jpn J Cancer Res 79: 1067–1074.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Inoue M, Tajima K, Hirose K, et al. (1998) Tea and coffee consumption and the risk of digestive tract cancers: data from a comparative case-referent study in Japan. Cancer Causes Control 9: 209–216.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Yu G, Hsieh C (1991) Risk factors for stomach cancer: a population-based case-control study in Shanghai. Cancer Causes Control 2: 169–174.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Yu GP, Hsieh CC, Wang LY, Yu SZ, Li XL, Jin TH (1995) Green-tea consumption and risk of stomach cancer: a population-based case-control study in Shanghai, China. Cancer Causes Control 6: 532–538.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Ji BT, Chow WH, Yung G, et al. (1996) The influence of cigarette smoking, alcohol, and green tea consumption on the risk of carcinoma of the cardia and distal stomach in Shanghai, China. Cancer 77: 2449–2457.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Hoshiyama Y, Sasaba T (1992) A case-control study of stomach cancer and its relation to diet, cigarettes, and alcohol consumption in Saitama prefecture, Japan. Cancer Causes Control 3: 441–448.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Lee HH, Wu HY, Chuang YC, et al. (1990) Epidemiologic characteristics and multiple risk factors of stomach cancer in Taiwan. Anticancer Res 10: 875–881.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Galanis DJ, Kolonel LN, Lee J, Nomura A (1998) Intakes of selected foods and beverages and the incidence of gastric cancer among the Japanese residents of Hawaii: a prospective study. Int J Epidemiol 27: 173–180.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Gao YT, McLaughlin JK, Blot WJ, Ji BT, Dai Q, Fraumeni JF, Jr (1994) Reduced risk of esophageal cancer associated with green tea consumption. J Natl Cancer Inst 86: 855–858.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Kato I, Tominaga S, Matsuura A, Yohii Y, Shirai M, Kobayashi S (1990) A comparative case-control study of colorectal cancer and adenoma. Jpn J Cancer Res 81: 1101–1108.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Ji BT, Chow WH, Hsing AW, et al. (1997) Green tea consumption and the risk of pancreatic and colorectal cancers. Int J Cancer 70: 255–258.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Ohno Y, Wakai K, Genka K, et al. (1995) Tea consumption and lung cancer risk: a case control study in Okinawa, Japan. Jpn J Cancer Res 86: 1027–1034.

    Google Scholar 

  19. De Jong UW, Breslow N, Goh Ewe Hong J, Sridharan M, Shanmugaratnam K (1974) Aetiological factors in oesophageal cancer in Singapore Chinese. Int J Cancer 13: 291–303.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Hu J, Nyren O, Wolk A, et al. (1994) Risk factors for oesophageal cancer in northeast China. Int J Cancer 57: 38–46.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Mizuno S, Watanabe S, Nakamura K, et al. (1992) A multi-institute case-control study on the risk factors of developing pancreatic cancer. Jpn J Clin Oncol 22: 286–291.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Tewes FJ, Koo LC, Meisgen TJ, Rylander R (1990) Lung cancer risk and mutagenicity of tea. Environ Res 52: 23–33.

    Google Scholar 

  23. RERF (1978) Mail questionnaire survey for epidemiologic data on the Life Span Study extended sample, 1978. Hiroshima: RERF. Report No. RP 14–78.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Thompson DE, Mabuchi K, Ron E, et al. (1994) Cancer incidence in atomic bomb survivors. Part II: Solid tumors, 1958–1987. Radiat Res 137: S17–67.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Pieree DA, Shimizu Y, Preston DL, Vacth M, Mabuchi K (1996) Studies of the mortality of atomic bomb survivors. Report 12, Part I. Cancer: 1950–1990. Radiat Res 146: 1–27.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Mabuchi K, Soda M, Ron E, et al. (1994) Cancer incidence in atomic bomb survivors. Part 1: Use of the tumor registries in Hiroshima and Nagasaki for incidence studies. Radiat Res 137: S1–16.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Key TJ, Sharp GB, Appleby PN, et al. (1999) Soya foods and breast cancer risk: a prospective study in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Br J Cancer 81: 1248–1256.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Nagano J, Kono S, Preston DL, et al. (2000) Bladder cancer incidence in relation to vegetable and fruit consumption: a prospective study of atomic-bomb survivors. Int J Cancer 86: 132–138.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Roesh WC, ed. (1987) Final Report on the Reassessment of Atomic Bomb Radiation Dosimetry in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Hiroshima: RERF.

  30. Sposto R, Preston DL (1992) Correction for catchment area nonresidency in tumor-registry-based cohort studies. Hiroshima: RERF. Report No. CR 1–92.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Preston DL, Lubin H, Pierce DA (1993) Epicure User's Guide. Seattle: HiroSoft International Corp.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Cheng KK, Day NE (1996) Nutrition and esophageal cancer. Cancer Causes Control 7: 33–40.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Coleman MP, Esteve J, Damieki P, Arslan A, Renard H (1993) Trends in Cancer Incidence and Mortality. Lyon: International Agency for Research on Cancer.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Gupta S, Ahmad N, Mukhtar H (1999) Prostate cancer chemoprevention by green tea. Semin Urol Oncol 17: 70–6.

    Google Scholar 

  35. World Cancer Research Fund, American Institute for Cancer Research, eds. (1997) Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer. Washington: American Institute for Cancer Research, pp. 436–446.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Imai K, Suga K, Nakachi K (1997) Cancer-preventive effects of drinking green tea among a Japanese population. Prev Med 26: 769–775.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Oguni I, Nasu K, Kanaya S, Ota Y, Yamamoto S, Nomura T (1989) Epidemiological and experimental studies on the antitumor activity by green tea extracts. Jpn J Nutr 47: 93–102.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Yamane T, Nakatani H, Kikuoka N, et al. (1996) Inhibitory effects and toxicity of green tea polyphenols for gastrointestinal carcinogenesis. Cancer 77: 1662–1667.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Nagano, J., Kono, S., Preston, D.L. et al. A prospective study of green tea consumption and cancer incidence, Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Japan). Cancer Causes Control 12, 501–508 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011297326696

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011297326696

Navigation