Drinking coffee or tea may be associated with a lower risk of stroke and dementia, according to a study of healthy individuals aged 50 to 74 published Nov. 16 in the open access journal. PLOS Medicine. Coffee consumption was also associated with a lower risk of post-stroke dementia.
Strokes are life-threatening events that cause 10 percent of deaths worldwide. Dementia is a broad term for symptoms associated with declining brain function and is a global health problem with high economic and social burden. Post-stroke dementia is a condition characterized by the onset of symptoms of dementia after a stroke.
Yuan Zhang and his colleagues at Tianjin Medical University in Tianjin, China, studied 365,682 UK Biobank participants, who were recruited between 2006 and 2010 and followed them through 2020. Initially, the participants reported their coffee and tea consumption. During the study period, 5,079 participants developed dementia and 10,053 suffered at least one stroke.
People who drank 2-3 cups of coffee or 3-5 cups of tea per day, or a combination of 4-6 cups of coffee and tea had the lowest incidence of stroke or dementia. People who drank 2-3 cups of coffee and 2-3 cups of tea per day had a 32% lower risk of stroke (RR: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.59-0.79 ; P
The UK Biobank reflects a relatively healthy sample compared to the general population, which may limit the ability to generalize these associations. In addition, relatively few people have developed dementia or stroke, which can make it difficult to accurately extrapolate rates to larger populations. Finally, although it is possible that the consumption of coffee and tea protects against stroke, dementia and post-stroke dementia, this causality cannot be inferred from the associations.
The authors add: “Our results suggest that moderate consumption of coffee and tea separately or in combination is associated with a lower risk of stroke and dementia.”
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