(HealthDay News) — Drinking as little as a cup of tea daily may improve cardiovascular health, according to new research scheduled to be presented on Tuesday at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2016 Scientific Sessions, held from March 1 to 4 in Phoenix.
Elliott Miller, M.D., internal medicine physician and instructor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and colleagues looked at data from 6,212 men and women enrolled in an ongoing study that began in 2000. At the beginning of the study, all of the volunteers were free of cardiovascular disease, Miller said. The researchers tracked the records of the men and women to see who had a heart attack, stroke, angina, or died from other types of heart disease over 11 years. The investigators also measured coronary artery calcium progression over five years by comparing earlier computed tomography scans to later ones.
The researchers found that individuals who drank a cup of tea a day had about one-third less risk of a major cardiovascular event during the study period than those who didn’t drink tea. Tea drinkers — those who drank from one to three cups daily — also showed a decline in coronary artery calcium scores. The researchers can’t say if drinking more than three cups of tea a day would lead to even better cardiovascular health. Miller told HealthDay that there were very few participants who drank more than four cups of tea daily.
“It’s too early to say drinking tea will help you have less cardiovascular events, like heart attack and stroke. But it does suggest there could be a protective nature of tea, or that tea drinkers in general are healthier individuals,” Miller said.