Tea intake and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin: Influence of type of tea beverages

Iman A. Hakim, Robin B. Harris, Ute M. Weisgerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Differences in tea drinking habits are likely to vary by populations and could contribute to the inconsistencies found between studies comparing tea consumption and cancer risk. A population-based case-control study was used to evaluate how usual tea consumption patterns of an older population (n = 450) varied with history of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin. A detailed tea questionnaire, was developed to assess specific tea preparation methods and patterns of drinking. In this southwestern United States population, black tea was the predominant variety of tea consumed. We found no association between the broad definition of any tea consumption and skin SCC. However, the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for hot and iced black tea intake were 0.63 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.36-1.10] and 1.02 (95% CI, 0.64-1.63), respectively. Controls were more likely to report usually drinking strong hot tea (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.53-1.03) with increased brewing time (P for trend = 0.03). Adjusting for brewing time, the association between skin SCC and hot black tea consumption suggests a significantly lower risk in consumers of hot tea compared to nonconsumers (OR, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.12-0.87). This is one of the first studies to explore the relation between different types of tea consumption and occurrence of human cancers. Our results show that tea concentration (strength), brewing time, and beverage temperature have major influences on the potential protective effects of hot black tea in relation to skin SCC. Further studies with increased sample sizes are needed to evaluate the interrelationships between preparation techniques, tea type, and other life-style factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-731
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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