Habitual tea consumption is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and death, according to a study published last week in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Compared with non-habitual tea drinkers or those who never drank tea, people who consumed tea three or more times per week had a 20% lower risk of incident heart disease and stroke. They also had a 22% lower risk of fatal heart disease and stroke, and 15% decreased risk of all-cause death, wrote investigators from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing.

Green tea drinkers and long-term habitual tea drinkers experienced the most favourable health effects, added first author Xinyan Wang. For example, the researchers 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 someone who never or seldom drank tea.

The analysis included more than 100,000 participants in the China-PAR project with no history of heart attack, stroke, or cancer.