Tea May Increase Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis in Women

Women who drink tea have an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared with those who do not drink tea, according to investigators. Further results from the same study showed no correlation between the amount of coffee consumption and RA incidence.

The results of the United States based longitudinal cohort study involving 76,643 women showed a positive association of incident Consuming any amount of tea carried a significant risk of developing RA and women who drank four or more cups of tea per day had an increased risk of developing RA compared to those who drank none. An analysis of the method of preparation of coffee (filtered vs. unfiltered) and presence or lack of caffeine in the beverage did not show any significant associations with RA or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

“We set out to determine whether tea or coffee consumption, or the method of preparation of the drinks was associated with an increased risk of RA or SLE. It is surprising that we saw such differences in results between tea and coffee drinkers,” Christopher Collins, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, said in a press release. “This does make us wonder what it is in tea, or in the method of preparation of tea that causes the significant increase in risk of developing RA.”

Data on women aged 50-79 years were taken from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study database. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire providing information on daily consumption of coffee and tea.

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