ROME, June 19 (UPI) — Women who drink tea may increase their risk of rheumatoid arthritis, U.S. researchers say.
Drinking any amount of tea was associated with an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis but the researchers found no increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis in women who drank coffee. Neither the method of coffee preparation — filtered vs. unfiltered — nor the presence or lack of caffeine showed any significant associations with rheumatoid arthritis.
“It is surprising that we saw such differences in results between tea and coffee drinkers,” Christopher Collins of Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, said in a statement. “This does make us wonder what it is in tea, or in the method of preparation of tea that causes the significant increase in risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.”
The study — involving 76,643 women ages 50-79 taken from the 15-year Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study database — used statistical hazard models to determine whether tea or coffee consumption was associated with an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system harms the body’s own healthy cells.
The findings were presented at the annual congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Rome.
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