Tea consumption and risk of cancer of the colon and rectum

James R. Cerhan, Shannon D. Putnam, Greg D. Bianchi, Alexander S. Parker, Charles F. Lynch, Kenneth P. Cantor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The association between tea consumption and risk of colon and rectal cancers was investigated in a population-based case-control study conducted in Iowa (United States). Colon (n = 685) and rectal (n = 655) cancer cases age 40-85 yr were identified through the Iowa Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Cancer Registry (86% response rate); controls (n = 2,434) were frequency matched by sex and 5-yr age group (80% response rate). The usual adult consumption of tea (hot and iced), along with other information including dietary data, was self-reported using a mailed questionnaire. Total tea consumption (cups/day) was categorized as none (reference category), low (<3.1), medium (3.1-5.0), and high (> 5.0, with cut points for tea consumers based on the 75th and 90th percentiles of use among controls. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals. There was no association between total tea consumption and colon cancer (ORs = 1.0, 1.1, 1.3, and 0.7) or rectal cancer (ORs = 1.0, 0.9, 1.4, and 1.0) after adjustment for age, sex, education, physical activity, smoking history, and intake of coffee, fiber, and fruits and vegetables. Results were similar when hot tea and iced tea were evaluated individually. Further adjustment for other colorectal cancer risk factors did not alter these results. There was no association with proximal or distal colon cancer. There was also no interaction between tea consumption and any of the dietary variables or total fluid on risk of colon or rectal cancer, with the exception of a suggestive positive association between an increasing frequency of tea consumption and colon cancer risk among current smokers (multivariate ORs = 1.0, 1.4, 2.0, and 1.8; P for trend = 0.1), but not among never smokers (multivariate ORs = 1.0, 1.0, 1.1, and 0.4; P for trend = 0.3). These data do not support an overall association, either positive or negative, between tea consumption and risk of colon or rectal cancer in this Midwestern US population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cancer Research


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