Previous studies have revealed a link between hot tea drinking and risk of esophageal cancer, but until now, no study has examined this association using prospectively and objectively measured tea drinking temperature. A new International Journal of Cancer study achieved this by following 50,045 individuals aged 40 to 75 years for a median of 10 years.
During follow-up, 317 new cases of esophageal cancer were identified. Compared with drinking less than 700 ml of tea per day at less than 60°C, drinking 700 ml per day or more at a higher temperature (60°C or higher) was associated with a 90 percent higher risk of esophageal cancer.
"Many people enjoy drinking tea, coffee, or other hot beverages. However, according to our report, drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of esophageal cancer, and it is therefore advisable to wait until hot beverages cool down before drinking," said lead author Dr. Farhad Islami, of the American Cancer Society.