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Hot tea linked to increased risk of esophageal cancer

By Tauren Dyson
Hot tea linked to increased risk of esophageal cancer
Drinking more than 700 milliliters of tea at higher than 60 degrees Celsius was linked to a 90 percent increased risk of esophageal cancer. Photo by Wiro Klyngz/Shutterstock

March 20 (UPI) -- People who like hot tea may want to wait until it gets cooler before taking that first sip.

Drinking more than 700 milliliters of tea at higher than 60 degrees Celsius, or 140 degrees Fahrenheit, was linked to a 90 percent increased risk of esophageal cancer, according to a study published Wednesday in International Journal of Cancer. Those results are compared to people who drank fewer milliliters of the beverage below 60 degrees.

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"Many people enjoy drinking tea, coffee, or other hot beverages. However, according to our report, drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of esophageal cancer," said lead author Farhad Islami, a researcher at the American Cancer Society and study lead author, in a news release.

Over a median of 10 years, the researchers studied more than 50,000 people between ages 40 and 75.

After following up on the participants, the researchers diagnosed 317 cases of esophageal cancer.

This is the first study to explore how the temperature of hot tea may cause the condition.

In 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer said that drinking any drink over 65 degrees Celsius makes it a carcinogen, or something likely to cause cancer.

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Other studies have linked drinking hot tea and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol daily to esophageal cancer, as well.

This year, the National Institutes of Health expects more than 17,000 people to be diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

"It is, therefore, advisable to wait until hot beverages cool down before drinking," Islami said.

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