Reproducibility and relative validity of a questionnaire to assess intake of black tea polyphenols in epidemiological studies

Iman A. Hakim, Vern Hartz, Robin B. Harris, Douglas Balentine, Ute M. Weisgerber, Ellen Graver, Robin Whitacre, David Alberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Epidemiological studies suggest that tea drinking may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancers. Although tea is an important source of antioxidant phytochemicals, variation in preparation techniques may translate to variation in antioxidant capacity. However, most large-scale epidemiological studies use regular food frequency questionnaires to estimate tea intake, and nationally available nutrient analysis databases do not include levels of black tea polyphenols. The Arizona Tea Questionnaire (ATQ) was designed as a tool for collecting more complete dietary tea consumption information, and a database was developed after analyzing 40 black tea samples (brewed, instant, and sun tea) for polyphenols. This study assesses the reliability and relative validity of the ATQ and polyphenol database. Relative validity of estimates of black tea consumption was tested by comparing the ATQ with the traditional Arizona Food Frequency Questionnaire and four days of food records. The ATQ was tested for reproducibility of estimates of black (hot and iced) tea consumption and levels of black tea polyphenol intake. Correlations between two measures of intake taken 2 months apart ranged from 0.72 for black hot tea to 0.86 for black sun tea. Mean intakes (range) of total flavonoids for black tea consumers were 80.8 (3.0-588.0) mg/day at the first ATQ and 102.4 (4.5-802.3) mg/day at the second ATQ (r = 0.83, P < 0.001). The ATQ provided highly reproducible estimates of both total tea consumption and individual tea polyphenol intake. This instrument may be a useful tool in studies of the associations between tea consumption, tea polyphenols intake, and risk for chronic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-678
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


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