High oolong tea consumption predicts future risk of diabetes among Japanese male workers: a prospective cohort study


Yasuaki Hayashino MD MPH, Department of Epidemiology and Healthcare Research, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Konoe-cho, Yoshida, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan. E-mail: hayasino-y@umin.net


Diabet. Med. 28, 805–810 (2011)


Aims  Acute administration of oolong tea decreases blood glucose levels. We investigated the association between long-term oolong tea intake and subsequent risk of developing diabetes among men of working age.

Methods  Data were analysed from a cohort of participants in the High-risk and Population Strategy for Occupational Health Promotion Study (HIPOP-OHP), conducted in Japan from 1999 to 2004. Oolong tea intake at baseline and subsequent risk of diabetes was evaluated using a Cox proportional hazards model.

Results  Of 4975 male workers, a total of 201 cases of diabetes were reported over a median of 3.4 years of follow-up. Mean age and BMI of all participants at baseline were 38.3 years and 22.9 kg/m2, respectively. Compared with those not consuming oolong tea, multivariable adjusted hazard ratios for developing diabetes were 1.00 (95% CI 0.67–1.49) for those who drank one cup of oolong tea per day and 1.64 (95% CI 1.11–2.40) for those drinking two or more cups per day. Fasting blood glucose increment per year was 0.11 mmol/l (95% CI 0.09–0.12 mmol/l), 0.12 mmol/l (95% CI 0.09–0.15 mmol/l) and 0.15 mmol/l (95% CI 0.11–0.18 mmol/l), respectively, for oolong tea consumption of 0, 1 and ≥ 2 cups/day, with a significant linear trend (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions  Long-term consumption of oolong tea may be a predictive factor for new onset diabetes. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the role of oolong tea in the risk of developing diabetes.