Drinking piping hot tea or coffee can significantly increase the risk of developing oesophageal cancer, a study claims.
Previous studies have revealed a link between hot tea drinking and risk of oesophageal cancer, but until now, no study has examined this association using prospectively and objectively measured tea drinking temperature.
The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, achieved this by following 50,045 individuals aged 40 to 75 years for a median of 10 years.
"Many people enjoy drinking tea, coffee, or other hot beverages. However, according to our report, drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of oesophagal cancer, and it is, therefore, advisable to wait until hot beverages cool down before drinking," said lead author Farhad Islami, of the American Cancer Society.
During follow-up, 317 new cases of oesophageal cancer were identified. Compared with drinking less than 700 ml of tea per day at less than 60 degrees Celsius, drinking 700 ml per day or more at a higher temperature was associated with a 90 per cent higher risk of oesophagal cancer.