How to live longer: The drink that can ‘lower risks’ of cardiovascular disease

What is cardiovascular disease?

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A research paper, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, linked one beverage with a longer and healthier life. In fact, the study shows that drinking a type of tea could add nearly two years onto your life. Dr Xinyan Wang said: “Habitual tea consumption is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease and all-cause death. “The favourable health effects are the most robust for green tea and for long-term habitual tea drinkers.”

The analysis involved 100,902 participants who had no history of heart attack, stroke, or cancer.

Participants were classified into two groups: habitual tea drinkers and non-habitual tea drinkers.

Those in the former group stated they would drink tea three or more times each week.

Meanwhile, those in the latter group would drink tea less than three times weekly.

In the seven-year follow-up period, habitual tea consumers – compared to non-habitual tea drinkers – had a 20 percent lower risk of incident heart disease and stroke.

Furthermore, those who consumed more tea had a 22 percent lower risk of fatal heart disease and stroke.

In addition, habitual tea drinkers were associated with 15 percent decreased risk of all-cause death.

The analysis estimated that a 50-year-old habitual tea drinker would develop coronary heart disease and stroke 1.41 years later and live 1.26 years longer than those who never or seldom drank tea.

Senior author, Dr Dongfeng Gu stated: “The protective effects of tea were most pronounced among the consistent habitual tea drinking group.

“Mechanism studies have suggested that the main bioactive compounds in tea, namely polyphenols, are not stored in the body long-term.

“Thus, frequent tea intake over an extended period may be necessary for the cardioprotective effect.”

Around 49 percent of habitual tea drinkers in the study sipped on green tea, whereas only eight percent consumed black tea.

The researchers noted that green tea is a rich source of polyphenols, which protects against cardiovascular disease.

Black tea, on the other hand, is fully fermented meaning that the polyphenols are oxidised and may lose their antioxidant effectiveness.

Furthermore, black tea is usually served with milk, which previous research has shown may counteract favourable health effects of tea.

Cardiovascular disease

The NHS explained that cardiovascular disease “is a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels”.

One type of cardiovascular disease is coronary heart disease, which can lead to chest pain (i.e. angina), heart attacks, and heart failure.

The NHS elaborated: “Coronary heart disease occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle is blocked or reduced.”

Cardiovascular disease can also lead to a stroke, where blood supply to the brain is cut off.

Peripheral arterial disease is also an example of cardiovascular disease, which can shorten people’s lives.

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