A new study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, has found that drinking tea or coffee may be associated with a lower risk of stroke and dementia, according to Science Daily.
The study conducted on healthy individuals aged 50 to 74 also found that drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of post-stroke dementia, a condition in which the symptoms of dementia occur after a stroke.
Globally, stroke is one of the life-threatening events that accounts for 10% of deaths. Dementia, also called loss of memory, is a symptom related to a decline in cognitive function – another global health problem with a high economic and social burden.
Researchers from Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China evaluated more than 365,000 participants from the UK Biobank, who were recruited from 2006 to 2010 and followed them until 2020.
Participants self-reported their tea and coffee intake. The researchers found that over 5,000 participants developed dementia and more than 10,000 experienced at least one stroke during the study period.
The authors found that people who drank 3 to 5 cups of tea or 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day had the lowest incidence of stroke or dementia. They had a 32% lower risk of stroke and a 28% lower risk of dementia.
In addition, the researchers found that drinking coffee alone or in combination with tea was linked to a lower risk of post-stroke dementia.
However, there were a few limitations of the study. For instance, the UK Biobank reflects a relatively healthy sample relative to the general population which could restrict the ability to generalize these associations, according to Science Daily.
Plus, only a few people developed dementia or stroke, which can make it difficult to generalize rates accurately to larger populations.
Furthermore, it is possible that tea and coffee consumption might be protective against stroke, dementia, and post-stroke dementia, but this causality cannot be inferred from the associations.
“Our findings suggested that moderate consumption of coffee and tea separately or in combination were associated with lower risk of stroke and dementia,” the authors wrote.