Tea drinking is associated with benefits on bone density in older women.
Impaired hip structure assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) areal bone mineral density (aBMD) is an independent predictor for osteoporotic hip fracture. Some studies suggest that tea intake may protect against bone loss.
Using both cross-sectional and longitudinal study designs, we examined the relation of tea consumption with hip structure. Randomly selected women (n = 1500) aged 70-85 y participated in a 5-y prospective trial to evaluate whether oral calcium supplements prevent osteoporotic fractures. aBMD at the hip was measured at years 1 and 5 with DXA. A cross-sectional analysis of 1027 of these women at 5 y assessed the relation of usual tea intake, measured by using a questionnaire, with aBMD. A prospective analysis of 164 women assessed the relation of tea intake at baseline, measured by using a 24-h dietary recall, with change in aBMD from years 1 to 5.
In the cross-sectional analysis, total hip aBMD was 2.8% greater in tea drinkers (x: 806; 95% CI: 797, 815 mg/cm(2)) than in non-tea drinkers (784; 764, 803 mg/cm(2)) (P < 0.05). In the prospective analysis over 4 y, tea drinkers lost an average of 1.6% of their total hip aBMD (-32; -45, -19 mg/cm(2)), but non-tea drinkers lost 4.0% (-13; -20, -5 mg/cm(2)) (P < 0.05). Adjustment for covariates did not influence the interpretation of results.
Tea drinking is associated with preservation of hip structure in elderly women. This finding provides further evidence of the beneficial effects of tea consumption on the skeleton.