Drinking Hot Tea, Coffee Tied to Lower MRSA Nasal Carriage

Drinking hot tea or coffee decreases nasal carriage of methicillin-resistant S. aureus by half

MONDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals who drink hot tea or coffee have half the likelihood of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nasal carriage as those who do not drink hot tea or coffee, according to a study published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Eric M. Matheson, M.D., from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues investigated the association between drinking tea, coffee, or both and nasal carriage of MRSA among the noninstitutionalized population of the United States. Using data from the 2003 to 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey the association was investigated.

The investigators identified approximately 2.5 million individuals who were MRSA nasal carriers. After adjusting for age, race, gender, poverty-income ratio, current health status, hospitalization in the past 12 months, and antibiotics use in the past month, individuals who drank hot tea or coffee were half as likely to have MRSA nasal carriage compared to those who drank no hot tea or coffee (odds ratio, 0.47 for both tea and coffee).

"Consumption of hot tea or coffee is associated with a lower likelihood of MRSA nasal carriage. Our findings raise the possibility of a promising new method to decrease MRSA nasal carriage that is safe, inexpensive, and easily accessible," the authors write.

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