A Study Showing the Dangers of Hot Tea Reveals How Complex Cancer Risks Can Be
There are few better things on a blustery cold day than a spot of hot tea. But a new study published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that some people’s tea habits—in particular, those who drink and smoke regularly—might be raising their chances of developing esophageal cancer. The findings also highlight how complicated it can be to figure out what exactly causes cancer.
Researchers examined data from an ongoing population study known as the China Kadoorie Biobank study. The study collected physical measurements and health-related questionnaires from more than half a million adults living throughout the country from 2004 to 2008. Ever since then, it’s kept track of their health outcomes. The researchers focused on some 400,000 people free of cancer at the start of the study. By 2015, there were 1,731 people who were diagnosed with esophageal cancer.
They found that people who said they drank hot or burning hot tea were more likely to get esophageal cancer, but only if they also drank alcohol or smoked often. Both drinking and smoking are already known risk factors for that type of cancer.