Some epidemiological studies have suggested a protective role of beverages such as coffee and tea in stroke, although its relation to arteriolosclerosis has not been examined. We conducted a two-wave prospective study at three work sites to examine the relation of consumption of coffee, tea or green tea to arteriolosclerosis on retina. Both eyes of the participants were photographed with nonmydriatic fundus camera at baseline survey conducted between 1997 and 1999 as well as at follow-up survey conducted between 2002 and 2005. Retinal arteriolosclerotic change judged by a physician with Scheie's classification for both surveys. Beverage consumption of coffee, tea, or green tea was assessed using a self-administered questionnaire at baseline. Participants at baseline survey were 1587 male aged 43–49, and 1074 were retained at follow-up. Of them, 84 persons with Scheie arteriolosclerosis grade of 2 or more at baseline were excluded from following analysis. At follow-up, 125 persons were newly judged as being with Scheie arteriolosclerosis grade of 2 or more. Those who frequently drank the beverage such as coffee were less likely to develop arteriolosclerosis (12.0% for ≥3 cups/day vs 17.7% for <1–2 cups/day). The OR (95% CI) for developing arteriolosclerosis was 0.64 (0.42 to 0.99) after controlling for possible confounders. Arteriolosclerotic retinal change is strongly correlated with cerebral arteriolosclerosis. Our results suggest that beverages such as coffee, tea, or green tea may have a protective role in sclerotic change of arteriole not only on retina but also in brain.
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