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01.10.2010 | Research article | Ausgabe 5/2010 Open Access

Breast Cancer Research 5/2010

Green tea drinking and subsequent risk of breast cancer in a population to based cohort of Japanese women

Breast Cancer Research > Ausgabe 5/2010
Motoki Iwasaki, Manami Inoue, Shizuka Sasazuki, Norie Sawada, Taiki Yamaji, Taichi Shimazu, Walter C Willett, Shoichiro Tsugane, Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study Group
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

MoI, MaI, SS, NS, TY, TS and ST were involved with the study concept and design. MoI, MaI, SS, NS, TY, TS and ST participated in the acquisition of data. MoI, MaI, SS, NS, TY, TS, WW and ST contributed to the analyses and interpretation of data. MoI conducted the statistical analyses and wrote the manuscript. All authors participated in the interpretation of results and critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Although many in vitro and animal studies have demonstrated a protective effect of green tea against breast cancer, findings from epidemiological studies have been inconsistent, and whether high green tea intake reduces the risk of breast cancer remains unclear.


In this Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study, 581 cases of breast cancer were newly diagnosed in 53,793 women during 13.6 years' follow-up from the baseline survey in 1990 to 1994. After the five-year follow-up survey in 1995 to 1998, 350 cases were newly diagnosed in 43,639 women during 9.5 years' follow-up. The baseline questionnaire assessed the frequency of total green tea drinking while the five-year follow-up questionnaire assessed that of two types of green tea, Sencha and Bancha/Genmaicha, separately.


Compared with women who drank less than one cup of green tea per week, the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for women who drank five or more cups per day was 1.12 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.81 to 1.56; P for trend = 0.60) in the baseline data. Similarly, compared with women who drank less than one cup of Sencha or Bancha/Genmaicha per week, adjusted HRs for women who drank 10 or more cups per day were 1.02 (95% CI 0.55 to 1.89; P for trend = 0.48) for Sencha and 0.86 (0.34 to 2.17; P for trend = 0.66) for Bancha/Genmaicha. No inverse association was found regardless of hormone receptor-defined subtype or menopausal status.


In this population-based prospective cohort study in Japan we found no association between green tea drinking and risk of breast cancer.
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