Is Green Tea Drinking Associated With a Later Onset of Breast Cancer?
Author: Qi Dai and Xiao-Ou Shu and Honglan Li and Gong Yang and Martha J. Shrubsole and Hui Cai and Butian Ji and Wanqing Wen and Adrian Franke and Yu-Tang Gao and Wei Zheng
Background Studies have found that tea polyphenols inhibit aromatase. Because of the substantial difference in levels of estrogens between premenopausal and postmenopausal women, the relationship between tea consumption and breast cancer risk may depend on menopausal status. Methods We examined this hypothesis in the Shanghai Women's Health Study, a population-based cohort study of 74,942 Chinese women. Results We found a time-dependent interaction between green tea consumption and age of breast cancer onset (p for interaction, 0.03). In comparison with non-tea drinkers, women who started tea-drinking at 25 years of age or younger had a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.69 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.41–1.17) to develop premenopausal breast cancer. On the other hand, compared with non-tea drinkers, women who started tea drinking at 25 years of age or younger had an increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer with an HR of 1.61 (95% CI: 1.18–2.20). Additional analyses suggest regularly drinking green tea may delay the onset of breast cancer. Conclusions Further studies are needed to confirm our findings.