The inconsistent findings regarding green tea intake and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk in several epidemiological studies might result from variations in lifestyle factors. Therefore, we examined whether increased green tea intake was associated with a decreased risk of CRC and how the risk of CRC was altered by the protective effect of green tea consumption and five health-related factors. A case-control study including 2742 participants (922 cases and 1820 controls) was conducted in Korea. Green tea consumption was assessed using a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. The risk of CRC was approximately 40% less in the participants in the highest green tea intake tertile than in participants in the lowest green tea intake tertile. Of the five lifestyle factors examined, high body mass index and physical inactivity were independent risk factors for CRC. Regarding the interactions between tea consumption and lifestyle factors, high green tea consumption was associated with a decreased risk of CRC, with or without considering lifestyle factors. However, moderate green tea consumption increased the risk of CRC among ever-smokers, ever-drinkers and the high-inflammatory diet group. Increased consumption of green tea might be helpful to reduce the risk of CRC in those with an unhealthy lifestyle.
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