Coffee, tea associated with lower risk of stroke, dementia in new study

A study published by Plos Medicine on Tuesday found that consuming coffee and tea, either separately or together, is associated with a lower risk of stroke and dementia.

People who daily consumed two to three cups of coffee, three to five cups of tea or a combination of four to six cups of both had the lowest risk of incidental stroke and dementia, according to the study.

Those people had a 32 percent lower risk of stroke and a 28 percent lowered risk of dementia than those who did not drink tea or coffee, according to the results of the study.

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Researchers said these findings suggest drinking tea and coffee might provide a benefit in lowering the risk of stroke, dementia and post-stroke dementia. However, they did note that even though there is an apparent link, it cannot be claimed that the drinks offer outright protection against those conditions.

The study included a total of 365,682 participants from the ages of 50 to 74 years old, all of whom self-reported their coffee and tea consumption.

They joined the study between the years 2006 and 2010 and were monitored by U.K. Biobank researchers for a period of 10 to 14 years, according to the study. The research concluded in 2020. 

During that 10- to 14-year period, about 5,100 participants developed dementia and about 10,000 experienced one or more strokes, the study shows. 

The chair of the American Stroke Association Advisory Committee and Vascular Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Lee H. Schwamm, told CNN via email that the accuracy of the study was limited because reports of participants' daily coffee and tea intake were self-reported, and might be biased.

"We cannot impute causality, and say 'drinking more coffee or tea is good for your brain.' What we can only say is that in this study, people who reported moderate coffee/tea drinking were less likely to have a stroke or dementia occur in the 10 years of follow-up," Schwamm said.

Previous studies have also linked coffee-consumption to health benefits. A study published in June showed that coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of a number of chronic illnesses and could contribute to longevity.