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Open AccessArticle

Tea Drinking and Its Association with Active Tuberculosis Incidence among Middle-Aged and Elderly Adults: The Singapore Chinese Health Study

Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117549, Singapore
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Environment and Health, and State Key Laboratory of Environmental Health (incubation), School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, China
Singapore Tuberculosis Control Unit, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore 308089, Singapore
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA
Office of Clinical Sciences, Duke-NUS Medical School, 8 College Road, Singapore 169857, Singapore
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2017, 9(6), 544;
Received: 18 January 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrients, Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases)
Experimental studies showed that tea polyphenols may inhibit growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, no prospective epidemiologic study has investigated tea drinking and the risk of active tuberculosis. We investigated this association in the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a prospective population-based cohort of 63,257 Chinese aged 45–74 years recruited between 1993 and 1998 in Singapore. Information on habitual drinking of tea (including black and green tea) and coffee was collected via structured questionnaires. Incident cases of active tuberculosis were identified via linkage with the nationwide tuberculosis registry up to 31 December 2014. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate the relation of tea and coffee consumption with tuberculosis risk. Over a mean 16.8 years of follow-up, we identified 1249 incident cases of active tuberculosis. Drinking either black or green tea was associated with a dose-dependent reduction in tuberculosis risk. Compared to non-drinkers, the hazard ratio (HR) (95% confidence interval (CI)) was 1.01 (0.85–1.21) in monthly tea drinkers, 0.84 (0.73–0.98) in weekly drinkers, and 0.82 (0.71–0.96) in daily drinkers (p for trend = 0.003). Coffee or caffeine intake was not significantly associated with tuberculosis risk. In conclusion, regular tea drinking was associated with a reduced risk of active tuberculosis. View Full-Text
Keywords: tea; tuberculosis; epidemiology tea; tuberculosis; epidemiology
MDPI and ACS Style

Soh, A.Z.; Pan, A.; Chee, C.B.E.; Wang, Y.-T.; Yuan, J.-M.; Koh, W.-P. Tea Drinking and Its Association with Active Tuberculosis Incidence among Middle-Aged and Elderly Adults: The Singapore Chinese Health Study. Nutrients 2017, 9, 544.

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