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Keywords:

  • tea;
  • oldest-old Chinese;
  • mortality;
  • longitudinal study

Objectives

To investigate the association between tea consumption and mortality in the oldest-old Chinese.

Design

Population-based longitudinal data from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) were analyzed using a Cox semiparametric proportional hazard model.

Setting

Six hundred thirty-one randomly selected counties and cities of China's 22 provinces.

Participants

Individuals aged 80 and older (N = 9,093) who provided complete data in the baseline survey (1998).

Measurements

Self-reported current frequency of tea drinking and past frequency at approximately age 60 were ascertained at baseline survey; a follow-up survey was conducted 2000, 2002, and 2005.

Results

In the oldest-old Chinese, tea consumption was associated with lower risk of mortality after adjusting for demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, health practices, and health status. Compared with non-tea drinkers, the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) was 0.90 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.84–0.96) for daily tea drinkers (at the baseline survey, 1998) and 1.00 (95% CI = 1.01–1.07) for occasional tea drinkers (P for linear trend .003). Similar results were found when tea drinking status at age 60 was used in the analysis. Further analysis showed that subjects who reported frequent tea drinking at age 60 and at the baseline survey had a 10% lower risk of mortality than subjects who reported infrequent tea drinking at age 60 and at the baseline survey (HR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.84–0.97).

Conclusion

Tea consumption is associated with lower risk of mortality in the oldest-old Chinese.