GP Clinics


Can Coffee or Tea Increase the Risk for RA?

While coffee may not impact rheumatoid arthritis (RA) incidence, nonherbal tea consumption may increase the risk for RA among older women, according to a new study.
To evaluate the relationship between coffee and tea consumption with RA incidence in women, the researchers analyzed data from 76,853 participants enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study who completed a self-administered questionnaire about daily consumption of coffee and tea.
A total of 185 validated cases of RA were detected after 3 years of observation.
The researchers used multivariable cox proportional hazards models to measure the relationship between consumption habits and disease incidence. Additionally, trend tests were calculated using categorical variables modeled as a continuous variable without collapsing.
Overall, there was no increase in the hazard ratio (HR) for RA incidence among participants who consumed coffee compared with those who did not.
The amount of coffee consumed and how it was prepared—whether caffeinated, decaffeinated, filtered, or unfiltered—did not change the risk for RA incidence.
In the trend test, a positive association between RA incidence and caffeinated tea consumption was found. The HR for RA incidence was 1.40 (95% CI, 1.01–1.93) when any caffeinated tea consumption was measured, vs no tea consumption.
“In a large prospective cohort of older women, there was no association between coffee consumption and incident RA,” the researchers concluded. “A small association between daily caffeinated, nonherbal tea consumption and incident RA was found.”
Lamichhane D, Collins C, Constantinescu F, et al. Coffee and tea consumption in relation to risk of rheumatoid arthritis in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Cohort. J Clin Rheumatol. 2019;25(3):127-132. doi:10.1097/RHU.0000000000000788.