Consuming hot drinks linked to 90% increased risk of oesophageal cancer, study warns

Sean Morrison

Consuming very hot drinks could be linked to a 90 per cent higher risk of oesophageal cancer, a study of 50,000 people has warned.

Experts found that drinking 700ml per day of tea at 60C or higher was "consistently associated" with an increased risk of the disease.

The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, looked at the drinking habits of 50,045 people aged 40 to 75 in north-eastern Iran.

During a follow-up period from 2004 to 2017, 317 new cases of oesophageal cancer - also known as cancer of the food pipe - were identified.

Lead author Dr Farhad Islami, from the American Cancer Society, said: "Many people enjoy drinking tea, coffee, or other hot beverages.

"However, according to our report, drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of oesophageal cancer, and it is therefore advisable to wait until hot beverages cool down before drinking.

"As long you're letting your tea cool down a bit before you drink it, or adding cold milk, you're unlikely to be raising your cancer risk."

The experts warned consuming piping hot drinks could increase the risk of developing oesophageal cancer by up to 90 per cent.

In 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer - the cancer agency of the World Health Organisation - classified drinking very hot beverages above 65C as a probable carcinogen.

The IARC examined studies that mostly looked at mate, a type of tea that is traditionally drunk at very hot temperatures, mainly in South America, Asia, and Africa.

They said it was the temperature rather than the type of drink that was associated with cancer.

Reporting by PA